Scleritis

with Dr. Raphael Rosenbaum

Scleritis

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What is Scleritis?

Scleritis is inflammation of sclera or white part of the eye.  It is slightly more common in females and typically presents in the 4th to 5th decade of life.

What are the symptoms of Scleritis?

Scleritis typically presents as a red, painful, tender eye.  The pain is often quite severe and exacerbated by eye movement and touch.  Patient often describe the pain as deep and boring in nature with radiation to the forehead, brow, jaw, or sinuses.

Are their different forms of Scleritis?

Scleritis can be classified by location into an anterior and posterior form. Alternatively anterior scleritis can be classified by the type of inflammation, diffuse, nodular, and necrotizing.

Is Scleritis dangerous?

Yes, chronic scleritis can be vision and eye threatening.  More importantly however, it may be the presenting sign of a more significant potentially life threatening  underlying autoimmune disease.

What are some of the causes of  Scleritis?

Approximately 50% of cases are associated with an underlying autoimmune disease.  These include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, behcet’s disease, relapsing polychondritis, Wegener granulomatosis, polyarteritis nodosa, and giant cell arteritis.  Other less common causes include infectious drug induced or trauma.

How is Scleritis treated?

First line treatment for noninfectious scleritis is usually with an oral Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug like Motrin or Advil.  Patients that do not respond to oral NSAIDs often need to move on to more aggressive therapy with oral or local steroids and or steroid sparing immunosuppressive therapy.