Scleritis and Episcleritis

Introduction

Episcleritis is an inflammation of the superficial, episcleral layer of the eye. It is relatively common, benign and self-limiting eye condition.
On the other hand, scleritis is inflammation the sclera which the white portion of the eye. It is a serious eye disease that is often associated with underlying autoimmune disorders.
To prevent blindness as a result of scleritis, prompt diagnosis and treatment is essential.

Symptoms and clinical features

  • Dull, deep-seated pain in the eye
  • Localized conjunctival congestion

Differential diagnoses

  • Pterygium
  • Phlyctenular conjunctivitis
  • Trauma to the eye

Complications

  • Thinning of the sclera
  • Anterior staphyloma
  • Scleral perforation

Investigations

  • Investigate for collagen diseases

Management

  • Use topical steroids or NSAIDs for the duration of symptoms
  • Treat arthritis if active
  • Treat any underlying cause.

Caution

  • Avoid prolonged use of steroids

Prevention

There is no real preventive measures for scleritis. However, having a frequent eye checks will help in early detection and treatment of episcleritis and scleritis. This (frequent eye checks) will prevent vision loss as a result of theses conditions.