Scleritis is an inflammation of the sclera (the white outer wall of the eye).
Inflammation – sclera
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Inflammation of the sclera is usually associated with autoimmune diseases such as
Scleritis occurs most often in people between the ages of 30 and 60 and is rare in children.
Blurred vision Eye painand tenderness – severe
- Red patches on the normally white part of the eye
Sensitivity to light– very painful Tearing of the eye
A rare form of this disease causes no eye pain or redness.
Signs and tests
- Physical examination and blood tests to look for or rule out underlying causes
Corticosteroid eye drops help reduce the inflammation. Sometimes corticosteroids pills are taken by mouth. Newer, nonsteroid anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs may be used in some cases.
If scleritis is caused by an underlying disease, treatment of that disease may be necessary.
The condition may recur but usually responds to treatment. Scleritis must be distinguished from other forms of inflammation that are less severe, such as
The underlying disorder associated with scleritis may be serious, and may be undiagnosed at the time of the first episode. The outcome depends upon the specific disorder.
- Scleritis returns
- Side effects of long-term corticosteroid therapy
- Untreated, perforation of the eyeball may occur, leading to vision loss
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider or ophthalmologist if you have symptoms of scleritis.
There is no preventive treatment for most cases.
Patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis may need careful monitoring by an ophthalmologist with experience treating ocular inflammatory diseases.