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Dry Eyes
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I have been gluten-free for about 3 weeks now and about two weeks ago the skin under my right eye started to become very dry. I put lotion/vaseline on it daily but nothing helped. Now it is under both eyes and it looks/feels awful. I was wondering if this was a side effect of the gluten-free diet or if it is unrelated. Did anyone else experience this? Any help would be appreciated! :unsure:

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I too have been having this problem of dryness. Except for me, it's dry eyes and dry mouth. I never had this problem before going gluten-free. Don't know what it is, but would really like some advice.

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I hate to add more problems to your pile but you should be tested for Sjogren's Syndrome. I have celiac disease and 2 other autoimmune diseases to boot and one of them is Sjogren's. Basically, your autoimmune system is now attacking your salivary glands and glands that produce your tears.

It causes excessive dry mouth and dry eye. There are products you can use to combat this and they work pretty good but please make an appointment with your doctor and ask for the SSA and SSB tests for antibodies. This is very common with celiac disease and is listed as one of the autoimmune diseases

you can get as a result.

Hope this helps!

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I have what I suspect is Sjogren's - self diagnosed from reading the list of symptoms and finding that after about 3 months gluten-free some of the symptoms went away. My dry eyes have become much better and don't itch all the time now, unless I've been glutened. My nose didn't bleed all through last winter with the dry air from central heating. However, my mouth and nasel passages are a bit dry still and I still have dry skin. I'm not sure if everything will clear up over time.

I googled Sjogren's Syndrome a while back and found on a site or two that they suspect it is caused by an autoimmune reaction to wheat (not all sites say this).

I have a comment about the dry skin under your eyes. I don't know if it's the same thing, but this kind of thing would happen often to me whenever I got a lot of tears on the lower lid. I know that sounds wierd. It would be sort of like eczema - very dry and rough, and itchy to the point of almost being painful. NOTHING helped it. Even cortozone cream (by the way, you need to get a prescription for this to use around the eyes so as not to do damage from the cream base). Eventually it would clear up some only to return. I haven't had any problems with this for several years now - don't know if eating gluten-lite had anything to do with it or even if it was related to gluten at all.

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I have celiac disease and had Lasik surgery a little over 3 years ago. I did have an autoimmune reaction (diffuse lamelar keratitis) to the surgery, and had to use steroid eye drops off and on and see the optometrist as often as once a week for about a year until it subsided. Prior to the surgery I had enough trouble with dry eyes that I had trouble wearing my contacts some days. After the surgery, I immediately developed moderate-severe dry eyes, and now must use Restasis twice a day and also keep saline drops next to my bed, as my eyes sometimes bother me at night---sticking to my eyelids when I'm dreaming and having accompanying rapid eye movement. This may be hard to believe, but I'm still glad I had the surgery. I love having normal vision. My eyes generally feel good during the day, and the Restasis keeps them moist enough that they don't bother me often during the night. However, my ophthalmologist probably lost money on me, and this sort of thing may be why they don't want to take a risk.

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I wear contact lens and am starting to notice dry eyes too. I have 5 autoimmune conditions - so should I be thinking of being tested for Sjogrens ? Some days the eyes are so dry that my contacts seem to 'stick' to my eye and I can't even get them out easily.

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Ya know.............you learn something every time you come to this site and poke around. I don't come here every day, and maybe I should. I have been having dry eyes here and there and my nose is so bad in the winter, it drives me crazy. I live in very northern Wisconsin where the air is very dry anyway (you wouldn't think it would be with this many lakes, but it is). I am going to research this sjogrens disease and look to it for a reason for all of this. I have a gluten problem, fibromyalgia and a thyroid condition, so it would stand to reason that maybe the dry eyes and nose could be related too, just never thought of it that way. Thanks for starting this thread. Barbara

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I wear contact lens and am starting to notice dry eyes too. I have 5 autoimmune conditions - so should I be thinking of being tested for Sjogrens ? Some days the eyes are so dry that my contacts seem to 'stick' to my eye and I can't even get them out easily.

Five autoimmune diseases? Join the club! :( It's gotten to the point I feel like a candidate for the Guinness Book of World Records!

In answer to your question, yes, you should be tested for Sjogren's as the symptoms can be managed quite well, if you know you have it. It's a blood test so it's easy. I would suggest a few things to help with the dry eye.....if you do indeed have Sjogren's I would refrain from ever having any Lasik eye surgery or even wearing contact lenses. With dry eye, you have to be careful about scratching your cornea. Try not to touch your eye as you want to be careful about introducing any bacteria to a dry eye. I use Q-tips for anything to do with my eyes and keep them ultra clean.

Restasis eye drops work really well to help with any inflammation issues.....it is a Rx. I also use OTC moisturizing drops frequently during the day. Make sure to drink plenty of water and this helps with the associated dry mouth also. If you cannot swallow a piece of gluten-free bread without drinking something to wash it down, you probably have Sjogren's Syndrome. It can also cause major dental problems so seeing a dentist every 3 months, not 6, for cleanings helps immeasurably.

I just keep telling myself that it could all be worse.....at least it isn't cancer. Good luck to you!

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