The sclera is the outermost protective surface of the eye and consists of about 83% of the total surface area. The white part of the eye is the sclera and helps with eye protection and movement.
Inflammation of the sclera is known as scleritis. Pain is the most prominent symptom of scleritis. It is a chronic and potentially blinding condition if left untreated. Scleritis may occur in isolation or as the manifestation of other underlying diseases, such as autoimmune disorders. Early diagnosis and management of scleritis are essential to prevent damage to the eye.
Scleritis is an overall uncommon disease. Women between 40 to 60 years old develop scleritis more often than men. Its prognosis depends on the disease severity and ranges from self-limited to vision-threatening. Patients with symptoms of scleritis should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist promptly for proper management and treatment.
Scleritis may be classified as follows:
The human body consists of an interconnected system of multiple organs, tissues, and cells that work together to ward off bacteria and viruses. Sometimes, due to unknown reasons, the body mistakenly attacks its own cells by considering them foreign invaders. Scleritis may occur due to an autoimmune phenomenon.
Scleritis may happen in isolation or in association with other autoimmune diseases, including the following:
Scleritis has varying signs and symptoms depending on the type and involvement of tissues. It may be associated with the following:
Unfortunately, when patients present in the emergency room for scleritis, they usually get inappropriate treatment e.g topical antibiotics. This practice can prolong the disease course.
Your eye doctor or healthcare practitioner will take your history and do a complete ocular examination to make the diagnosis. The workup of scleritis may involve the following points:
The treatment of scleritis depends on the treatment of the underlying disease, and always requires systemic therapy. During the management of scleritis, a combination of systemic and ocular therapy is used. The use of combination therapy reduces the risk of recuerrence and complications.
Patients with scleritis require long-term monitoring of medication side effects, their dosage, and treatment effect. At every follow-up, the patient will be monitored with a slit lamp examination.
Early diagnosis and treatment of scleritis are necessary for the prevention of complications. The possible complications of scleritis are the following: