Sjogrens Syndrome and the Summer Sun

We hope this article dies not herald the end of the superb summer weather encountered in the UK and Europe this year!!!

 

Many people with autoimmune illneese like Sjogrens Syndrom & Lupus are very sensitive to exposure to the sun the sun. Therefore activity of the sun, needs careful a skin protection discipline to avoid sumburn and more serious long term skin damage and cancer.

 

Use sun protection on the face and body, ears and neck, Head and eyes  also need protection.  Speak to your GP or Pharmacist for best advice

 

Sunglasses with safe high quality lenses and a wide-brimmed hat are also part of the defence equipment required to combat damage caused by the sun the sun. Patients with Sjögren syndrome should be especially aware of the need for good quality protective sunglasses. Not wearing sunglasses is bad for the eyes and serious problems can follow repeated exposure to the sun, even for short periods. 

 

 

Exposure to Sunlight?

The advice from a series of articles published in the USA  for Lupus patients offers some very sound advice for Sjogrens Syndrome Patioents. UV radiation is what causes the cell damage, whether it’s coming from th sun or a lamp, When the cells are damaged, the immune system clears them, but people with lupus  (& Sjogrens Syndrome) have a much slower clearance of these cells.

The dead cells stick around in the body, triggering an immune system attack. “We have antibodies in our immune systems that typically are used to fight infection. But in people with lupus ( & Sjogrens Syndrome ) , the antibodies wrongly attack proteins within normal cells and cause an immune reaction

 

How common is photosensitivity in people with lupus? (& Sjogrens Syndrome)

 

Photosensitivity is common in people with lupus: 40 percent to 70 percent of people with lupus will find that their disease is made worse by exposure to UV rays from sunlight or artificial light. Although the sun emits much larger amounts of UV radiation than indoor light, most people—especially those with lupus—tend to spend more time indoors, where they’re exposed for longer periods of time.

That’s not all: UV light can also activate a 'flare up", triggering symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, tingling, and numbness.

 

How to protect yourself and help prevent flare ups

If UV light "flares up" your condition, create a barrier between you and it:

  1. Apply a liberal layer of a 30 SPF (Factor 30) or higher sunscreen, one that provides broad-spectrum- protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  2. Wear tightly woven clothing that covers your skin, a wide-brimmed hat, and wraparound sunglasses to protect you from head to toe.
  3. Choose light bulbs that have the lowest possible irradiance (intensity).
  4. Cover fluorescent and halogen bulbs with light shields or glass that filters out UV rays. Look for shields with readings of 380 to 400 nanometers, which filters all types of ultraviolet light.
  5. Use UV-blocking shades to cover windows and prevent sunlight from streaming in.

 

Sunglasses

 

A number of members of our group wear “Serengeti” sunglasses which feature excellent UV ratings and extremely clear vision. 

Speak with a qualified optitian for further advice on Sunglasses, UV protective lenses.

 

Avoiding damage to the eyes is very important.