We are the combination of four hospitals: the General Hospital, the Children’s Hospital, the Women’s Hospital and the Traumatology, Rehabilitation and Burns Hospital. We are part of the Vall d’Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus: a world-leading health park where healthcare plays a crucial role.
Below we will list the departments and units that form part of Vall d’Hebron Hospital and the main diseases that we treat. We will also make recommendations based on advice backed up by scientific evidence that has been shown to be effective in guaranteeing well-being and quality of life.
We will guide you from your first visit to the centre, allowing you to find all the departments and make the most of our facilities. Whatever the reason for your visit, we will explain how to get about the hospital.
Sjögren's Syndrome is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease, the cause of which is unknown. Its main symptoms are a dry mouth (xerostomia) and dry eyes (xerophthalmia). In this disease, the cells making up our defence system (immune system) attack parts of the body itself, such as the glands that keep the eyes and mouth moist, and glands in other parts of the body, altering their function. Symptoms in other organs, such as the lungs, joints or nervous system, may also occur.
Patients with Sjögren's Syndrome often have other conditions related to anomalous functioning of the immune system, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Patients with Sjögren's Syndrome mainly have symptoms related to a lack of tear and saliva production, which causes dryness in the mouth and eyes. The main symptoms suffered by patients are a burning, gritty sensation in the eyes, red eyes, blurred vision, the need to drink water frequently, difficulty swallowing dry food and a higher propensity for tooth decay and mouth infections. This dryness may also affect the skin and vaginal area, which causes painful sexual relationships. Other symptoms that Sjögren's Syndrome patients may show are joint or muscle pain and fatigue. Less frequently, other organs, such as the lungs, kidney and nerve endings, may be affected.
Above all, the disease affects women aged between 40 and 60. It is calculated that the incidence is between 0.5% and 3% of the population.
There is no single test enabling diagnosis of Sjögren's Syndrome. Diagnosing Sjögren's Syndrome in a patient referred with dry eyes and mouth is based on tests that confirm the existence of a deficit in tear and saliva production and that prove that the dryness is associated with an imbalance in the immune system.
Treatment of Sjögren's Syndrome is essentially based on measures that alleviate the feeling of dryness shown by the patient. The treatment includes the use of artificial tears, eye gels, eye drops, nebulisers and tablets to stimulate saliva production. Particular patients may be given treatment to stimulate glandular secretion. In serious cases, where there are symptoms in organs other than the glands (lungs and peripheral nerves, etc) it may be necessary to administer medication that acts to decrease immune system activity (immunosuppressant drugs).
Patients with Sjögren's Syndrome must undergo a series of eye tests, blood and urine tests and, on certain occasions, it is necessary to do a small biopsy of lip mucous to confirm the existence of inflammation in the glands producing saliva.
Sociedad Española de Medicina Interna
American College of Rheumatology: Síndrome de Sjögren
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