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Episcleritis and Scleritis
The episclera is a thin tissue which is between the white of the eye and the outer layer of the eye known as the conjunctiva. Episcleritis is inflammation of this thin vascular (blood rich) tissue. The condition is characterized by increased redness and tenderness of the eye. On occasion, there is tenderness upon moving eye from side to side and/or up and down.
This condition is characterized by a unique, localized redness of this tissue. These inflammations occur randomly and without any known cause. Most episodes last about two weeks; however, durations of three weeks to three months occur. Episcleritis is usually self-limiting with no permanent damage to the eye. Bouts of episcleritis are shortened with increased comfort with the prescription of steroid drops. If at anytime you feel that your condition is getting worse rather than better, make an appointment.
The sclera is the white of the eye. Scleritis is an inflammation of this white portion of the eye. This rare condition can be an extremely destructive disease leading to vision loss. Scleritis causes extreme pain and may lead to perforation of the eye. Once the eyeball is perforated, the eye ball may be lost.
Scleritis is not usually a primary inflammation or infection but a result of an auto-immune disorder such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis or other connective tissue diseases. Scleritis tends to be chronic. It is not uncommon to see the disease wax and wane. If you have scleritis and the condition is increasing, you must return to the office.