|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Alternative Names Return to topInflammation - sclera
Definition Return to top
Scleritis is an inflammation of the sclera (the white outer wall of the eye).
Causes Return to top
Inflammation of the sclera is usually associated with infections, chemical injuries, or autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Sometimes the cause is unknown.
Scleritis occurs most often in people between the ages of 30 and 60 and is rare in children.
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Treatment Return to top
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.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
The condition may recur but usually responds to treatment. Scleritis must be distinguished from other forms of inflammation that are less severe, such as episcleritis.
The underlying disorder associated with scleritis may be serious, and the outcome depends upon the specific disorder.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call for an appointment with your health care provider or ophthalmologist if you have symptoms of scleritis.
Prevention Return to top
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.
References Return to top
Galor A, Thorne JE. Scleritis and peripheral ulcerative keratitis. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2007 Nov;33(4):835-54, vii. Review.Update Date: 8/22/2008 Updated by: Paul B. Griggs, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.