What Is Scleritis?

Scleritis is a serious inflammatory disease that affects the sclera, the white outer coating of the eye. It is often associated with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and others. Scleritis is characterized by a deep, severe pain in the eye that often radiates to the face and head, and it can lead to serious complications, including vision loss, if not treated promptly and effectively.

Symptoms of Scleritis:

Symptoms of scleritis can be severe and may include:

  • Intense pain in the eye, often described as a deep, boring pain that may be worse at night and with eye movement
  • Redness of the eye, typically in a localized area
  • Tenderness of the eye to the touch
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Blurred vision
  • Tearing or discharge from the eye

Treatment for Scleritis:

Because scleritis can be associated with an underlying systemic condition, both the ocular inflammation and the systemic disease need to be treated:

  • Corticosteroids and Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These are used to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Immunosuppressive Medications: In severe cases, medications that modify the immune system may be necessary.
  • Antibiotics: If an infection is causing the scleritis, appropriate antibiotic treatment will be required.

Consultation with a rheumatologist or other specialists may be necessary for comprehensive management.

Prevention of Scleritis:

There is no sure way to prevent scleritis, especially when it is related to an autoimmune disorder. However, managing any known autoimmune conditions, reducing stress, and having regular eye examinations are important steps in monitoring for and managing scleritis.

To learn more about scleritis, its causes, diagnosis, and surgical options, visit your optometrist.

Please note that this information is provided for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice. If you suspect you have scleritis or any eye-related concerns, it is important to consult with an eye care professional for a proper evaluation and personalized recommendations.