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Scleritis is a rare condition in which there is serious inflammation of the sclera, the white of the eyes. Scleritis can affect one or both eyes and if left untreated can result in vision loss. Symptoms of scleritis include blurred vision, eye pain, eye discomfort, red patches on the whites of the eyes, tearing of the eye, and sensitivity to light (photophobia). To learn more about other important symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of scleritis.
Scleritis can happen to anyone, but most often occurs to adults between 30 and 60 years of age. Scleritis is sometimes associated with autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Crohn's disease. In an autoimmune disorder, the body's immune system mistakes the tissues of the body as foreign and potentially dangerous to the body and attacks them.
Diagnosing scleritis begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination that includes a thorough eye examination. This will rule out eye conditions and diseases with similar symptoms.
An eye examination includes testing pupil response to light, visual acuity or sharpness of vision, checking the sharpness of peripheral vision, and testing the pressure of the inside the eye. The outer eye is examined using an instrument called a slit lamp, and the inner eye is examined using an instrument call an ophthalmoscope. Another test involves temporarily staining the eye with a special eye drop that makes a corneal abrasion, which can mimic scleritis, visible to the clinician.
A diagnosis of scleritis may be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other disorders, diseases or conditions. To learn more about disorders, diseases and conditions that can mimic scleritis, refer to misdiagnosis of scleritis.
Treatment for scleritis includes medication in pill form and/or eye drop form and regular eye care to monitor the condition. For more details on treatment plans, refer to treatment of scleritis. ...more »
Symptoms of scleritis can affect one or both eyes. Symptoms are due to inflammation, swelling and irritation of the affected eye or eyes. Symptoms include eye pain. There can also be a general dull discomfort in the affected eye and a sensitivity to light (photosensitivity). There are generally one or more red patches on the sclera (white part of the eye) or the ...more symptoms »
Treatment of scleritis includes corticosteroid eye drops. Corticosteroid medications may also be prescribed in pill form. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and eye pain and help to improve other symptoms. Other drug options may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Prompt treatment is essential to lessen the risk of developing complications, such as perforation of the ...more treatments »
A diagnosis of scleritis may be delayed or missed because symptoms of scleritis can be similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions, such as watering eye, subconjunctival hemorrhage, uveitis, glaucoma, choroiditis, dry eye, blepharitis, and corneal ulcer. ...more misdiagnosis »
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Refers to any inflammation of the sclera including episcleritis, a benign condition affecting only the episclera, which is generally short-lived and easily treated. Classic scleritis, on the other hand, affects deeper tissue and is characterized by higher rates of visual acuity loss and even mortality, particularly in necrotizing form. Its characteristic symptom is severe and general head pain. Scleritis has also been associated with systemic collagen disease. Etiology is unknown but is thought to involve a local immune response. Treatment is difficult and includes administration of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents such as corticosteroids. Inflammation of the sclera may also be secondary to inflammation of adjacent tissues, such as the conjunctiva. - (Source - Diseases Database)
Inflammation of the sclera - (Source - WordNet 2.1)
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