Sjögren's syndrome (pronounced sho-grins) is a disease that causes dryness of the eyes and mouth. It can also affect other organ systems including the skin, joints, lungs and nervous system. Sjögren's syndrome is a chronic disease, which means it can last a long time.
Sjögren's is a systemic autoimmune disease. This means the body's immune system does not behave normally. Instead of serving to fight infections such as bacteria and viruses, the body's own immune system attacks itself. In Sjögren's syndrome, autoimmunity may lead the immune system to destroy the glands that produce tears and saliva. In addition, people with Sjögren's may suffer other organ damage by the abnormal immune response.