The sclera is the tough, white outer layer of your eye. Scleritis is severe, painful inflammation of the sclera.
It can happen in one or both eyes and in part or all of the sclera
Severe scleritis can destroy your sclera and damage your vision
Scleritis sometimes happens if you have certain autoimmune diseases Autoimmune Diseases "Auto" is a medical term for "self." The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system usually attacks invading bacteria, viruses... read more , such as rheumatoid arthritis Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Arthritis is a group of diseases that makes your joints hurt, swell up, and turn red. There are many different types of arthritis. RA is a type of arthritis in which your body's immune system... read more or systemic lupus erythematosus Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus) is a long-term autoimmune disease. In an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks parts of your own body. Lupus is most common in women between the... read more , or have had eye surgery for another eye problem or certain eye infections
Scleritis is most common in women ages 30 to 50
You may have a deep, painful ache in one or both of your eyes
Doctors will give you corticosteroids and medicines to treat your immune system
Severe scleritis can lead to other serious eye problems that may affect your eyesight such as cataracts Cataract A cataract is when the lens of your eye slowly gets cloudy. This does not hurt, but it causes your vision to get worse over time. This image shows a large cataract in the right eye (left on... read more and glaucoma Glaucoma Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes vision loss. It usually happens when pressure from extra fluid within your eyeball damages the nerve in your eye (optic nerve). Vision loss usually happens... read more . Rarely, scleritis can cause a small hole (perforation) in the eyeball.
Doctors will ask you about your symptoms and do an eye exam.
If doctors think the back part of your eye is inflamed, they may need to do tests to get a better view. They may do:
Have you take an anti-inflammatory pain medicine, such as ibuprofen
Give you corticosteroid pills or sometimes by injection into the sclera
Give you medicine to treat your immune system if you have an autoimmune disease Autoimmune Diseases "Auto" is a medical term for "self." The immune system is your body's defense system. It helps protect you from illness and infection. The immune system usually attacks invading bacteria, viruses... read more
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