By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It definitely has a very strange name – Sjögren Syndrome. But it is a relatively common cause of dry eyes and dry mouth. It is believed to stem from a disruption in the autoimmune system and it can impact other parts of the body as well.

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Sjögren Syndrome often accompanies another autoimmune disease – rheumatoid arthritis.

For physicians, Sjögren Syndrome is a challenging diagnosis. Because there are so many causes of dry eyes and dry mouth your family physician has to coordinate with a team of specialists that can include dentists, otolaryngologists, rheumatologists and ophthalmologists.

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There are medications that can help relieve dry eyes and dry mouth.

As many as 1 to 2 million people in the United States are affected. Those affected the most are middle-age women. The average age it starts is 52.

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Again, it is just one cause of dry eyes and dry mouth.