Those are among the main points of an essay in the February edition of Primary Care Optometry News written by its editor, Michael D. DePaolis, O.D. FAAO.
Dry Mouth & Autoimmune Disease
Given that there are more than 80 different forms of autoimmune disease, and “an ambiguous array of symptoms,” establishing a working diagnosis of an autoimmune disease can be challenging and time consuming, Dr. DePaolis notes. Many people will probably see five doctors over a more than four-year period before clinicians can arrive at a diagnosis.
Optometrists are often the first clinicians to see these people, he adds, and may be able to identify “the link between ocular findings and underlying autoimmune disease. Is it just a contact-lens related dry eye or dry eye accompanied by dry mouth.”
For Dr. DePaolis’ complete essay, click here.