Scleritis is an eye inflammation or eye disease caused by lowered immunity. It may cause partial or permanent loss of vision and hence one has to take prompt treatment to prevent this condition. The sclera is responsible for white color of the eye and helps to maintain the shape of the eye. It is a tough white colored layer found on the walls of the eye, extending from cornea to optic nerve found on the back of the eyes. Inflammation of sclera is known as scleritis.
Most often, scleritis is caused by systemic diseases which affect the body seriously. Some of the diseases belonging to this category are autoimmune disorders, connective tissue disorder and generalized vasculitic disorders. It can also develop as side effect of systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, psoriasis, connective tissue disease, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
Scleritis (inflammation of sclera) is a strong indication of the underlying medical problem. It can be due to fungal, viral or parasitic infection, trauma, exposure to chemicals, poisonous gases or due to post-surgical complications.
It can occur in either one of the eyes or both and in most of the cases in which both eyes are affected, systemic diseases will be the cause.
Some of the major signs of this disease are redness of eye (due to inflammation), pain, and tenderness along with problems in vision. Eye pain will be present always and it gets increased when touched. The pain will disturb the person while sleeping.
It is the boring dull pain (always present) on the eyes that helps one to differentiate scleritis from other eye problems. The red coloration can be on the entire eye or only one corner of the eye, depending on the intensity of inflammation inside. It causes partial loss of vision since it may develop swelling on the cornea.
The blood vessels of the eyes may become swollen and the redness can take a bluish tint. Scleritis can develop anterior or posterior regions of the eye. Vision loss may occur due to clouding of corneal region and due to development of intraocular pressure.
Who are at risk?
Aged people above 55 or 60 and women and people with autoimmune disorders like HIV are more prone to scleritis than others.
Your ophthalmologist will view your eyes through special instrument for detecting scleritis. She may order for blood test, chest X-ray and scan for ruling out presence of any systemic infections inside.
Underlying medical condition is to be evaluated first before giving treatment for scleritis. Your doctor may give antibiotic eye drops for reducing inflammation and pain. Topical antibiotics are prescribed in case of eye infection.
In case of systemic diseases, NSAID drugs are administered or immune boosting agents like Methotrexate is given.
Drugs like azathioprine, cyclophosphamide and cyclosporine are given. Steroid injection is given to control the symptoms.
In rare cases, surgery is done in case if it has caused thinning of sclera.
Pictures of Scleritis :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Scleritis
Scleritis is a potential eye disease often caused due to underlying medical cause. You need to consult your doctor to prevent loss of vision. You cannot prevent this disease but you should be aware to seek immediate attention from your doctor.
Individuals with autoimmune disorders like arthritis should look for above symptoms or changes in eye color and seek prompt medical care.