Scleritis is painful inflammation of the sclera. The sclera is the white of the eye.
The cause of scleritis is not always known. It is most common in people between the ages of 30 and 60. People who have rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or other autoimmune disorders are more likely to have scleritis. It is more common in women than in men. Scleritis may also be caused by infection or injury to the eye.
Symptoms may include:
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, examine your eyes, and do tests. Tests you may have are:
Scleritis is usually treated with corticosteroid eye drops. Your provider may also prescribe corticosteroids taken by mouth, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID). NSAIDs may cause stomach bleeding and other problems. These risks increase with age. Read the label and take as directed. Unless recommended by your healthcare provider, do not take for more than 10 days.
If scleritis is caused by an infection, you may be prescribed antibiotics.
Scleritis should improve within a few days after you start treatment. If scleritis is not treated promptly, it may cause a hole in the eye, which can cause loss of vision.
Call your provider if: