Contact Us  |  Search: 
Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Episcleritis

 

Definition

Episcleritis is irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the episclera, a thin layer of tissue covering the sclera of the eye.

Causes

The sclera is made up of tissue fibers that form the strong white wall of the eye. It is covered by the episclera, a thin layer of tissue that contains many blood vessels that feed the sclera.

Episcleritis is inflammation of the episclera that occurs without an infection. It is a common condition that is usually mild and rarely progresses to scleritis.

The cause is usually unknown, but it may occur with certain diseases, such as:

Symptoms
Signs and tests

An eye examination can usually diagnose the disorder. No special tests are usually necessary.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

Episcleritis usually improves without treatment. Treatment may shorten its duration.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of episcleritis that last for more than 2 weeks. Get checked again if your pain worsens or you lose vision.

Complications
  • Rarely, scleritis may develop
  • The condition may return
Treatments

The condition usually disappears without treatment in 1 - 2 weeks. Treatment with corticosteroid eye drops may relieve the symptoms faster.

Prevention

References

Goldstein DA, Tessler HH. Episcleritis, scleritis, and other scleral disorders. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, Augsburger JJ, Azar DT. Ophthalmology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby; 2004:chap 64.

O'Day DM, Horn JD. The eye and rheumatic disease. In: Harris ED, Budd RC, Genovese MC, Firestein GS, Sargent JS. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2005:chap 44.


Review Date: 7/15/2008
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
MAIMONIDES
MEDICAL CENTER


Home Page
Why Choose Us
Donations
Website Terms of Use
PATIENT
INFORMATION


Visitor & Patient Info
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us
KEY
INFORMATION


Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking
FOR HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS


Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access

Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000