World Sjögren’s Day Date in the current year: July 23, 2024

World Sjögren’s Day World Sjögren’s Day is an international observance held annually on July 23. It was created to raise awareness of Sjögren’s syndrome, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects multiple organs and has no known cure.

Sjögren’s syndrome was named after Dr. Henrik Sjögren, a Swedish ophthalmologist who first described it in 1933. The condition affects the glands of the body that are responsible for producing moisture (tears and saliva). Like all autoimmune diseases, Sjögren’s syndrome arises from the immune system attacking healthy tissues, in this case the moisture-producing glands.

The primary symptoms of Sjögren’s syndrome are dry mouth (xerostomia) and dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca); dry skin (xeroderma), dry nose, and vaginal dryness may also occur. Other symptoms can include muscle and joint pains, fatigue, numbness in the limbs, a chronic cough, increased tooth decay, digestive problems, and thyroid problems. People with Sjögren’s also have a higher risk of developing lymphoma.

Sjögren’s syndrome is one of the most common autoimmune diseases; it affects about 1 in every 70 people. About 90% of those affected are women. Although most patients are diagnosed in middle age, people of all ages and nearly all racial and ethnic backgrounds can be affected by Sjögren’s. Sjögren’s syndrome can be primary (occurs independently) or secondary (associated with another connective tissue disease such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, etc.).

Despite being relatively common, Sjögren’s syndrome is often misdiagnosed or undiagnosed because symptoms are not always present simultaneously and can vary from person to person. Many people struggle with symptoms for years before being diagnosed with Sjögren’s. It takes an average of 2.8 years to receive a diagnosis, and an estimated 2.5 million people with Sjögren’s syndrome in the United States are currently undiagnosed.

There is no cure or specific treatment that can restore gland secretion in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome. Instead, various treatment are used to relieve specific symptoms and improve the quality of life. They include artificial tears and saliva substitutes, tear duct plugs, anti-inflammatory medications, preventive dental treatment, etc.

World Sjögren’s Day was created to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Henrik Sjögren and to raise global awareness of Sjögren’s syndrome. It is heavily promoted by the Sjögren’s Foundation, the only national non-profit health organization in the United States that supports patients with Sjögren’s syndrome, as well as serves as the leading organization for raising awareness of the disease worldwide.

There are many ways to observe World Sjögren’s Day. You can educate yourself about Sjögren’s syndrome by reading books and articles about the condition, donate to an organization that promotes Sjögren’s awareness and research, and spread the word about the observance on social media with the hashtag #WorldSjogrensDay. If you’re living with Sjögren’s syndrome, share your story with others to help them better understand the condition.

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World Sjögren’s Day, international observances, Sjögren’s syndrome, the Sjögren’s Foundation, autoimmune disease