Scleritis is a non-contagious disorder causing inflammation of sclera of the eye. Sclera is the outer layer of the eye ball often called as white layer of the eye. Sclera protects the eye and gives it white color.
Scleritis is an eye disease which is seen more frequent in women than in men. It is a unilateral or bilateral disease and has 70% of recurrence chances. Inflammation usually is not due to infection.
Scleritis occurs during 30 to 60 years of age and is rare in children.
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Granulomatous and nongranulomatus inflammation, necrosis is observed histopathologically. Inflammation may be active for few months to few years. The inflammation may occur in whole eye or sometimes it occurs in some quadrants of eye. Severe pain makes patient awake while sleeping. Redness of eyes is the first symptom observed. It may be severe and show a small nodule in the eye, redness in some sectors of eye, corneal inflammation and iritis. The redness can change to purple color. Blurred vision, photophobia and tenderness and tearing of the eyes are commonly seen symptoms. It is usually associated in connective tissue disorder rheumatoid arthritis. Oedema of the eyeball can occur. The purple patches or red patches can be seen if the Scleritis is recurred.
Though topical steroidal and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are helpful to treat Scleritis, but systemic treatment is also required. The therapy starts with systemic administration of steroids to control the disorder.
The treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs can be effective in many patients but monitoring of such patients must be continued to prevent eye damage. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs given are ibuprofen and indometacin. These topical drugs help to relieve the symptomic pains.
The treatment is also required to treat the underlying disease which caused scleritis. The period of treatment is based on the extent of treatment of disease that caused scleritis and severity of scleritis.
Scleritis is usually caused due to associated disorders of connective tissue or due to autoimmune disorders. Some of the causes can include rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriatic arthritis, shingles, tuberculosis and high blood pressure.
The early diagnosis of scleritis can prevent the loss of vision. The ophthalmologist should be consulted immediately. An ophthalmologist examines the eyes and suggests blood tests to know the underlying causes of the disease.
Scleritis is classified as anterior scleritis and posterior scleritis. Anterior Scleritis is prominent in 94% of Scleritis cases. Anterior scleritis is also further differentiated as diffuse anterior scleritis, nodular anterior scleritis, necrotising scleritis, and scleromalacia perforans. Posterior scleritis is very rare and usually caused in patients with systemic disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.