Episcleritis

What is Episcleritis?

It is the abrupt onset of inflammation in the tissue that lies over the white part of your eye. It is a loose, elastic tissue that connects your part of the eye that is white and the mucous membrane that covers the front part of your eyelid along with lining the eyelid. It is normally a benign infection. When you see a person with this medical condition it is looks much worse that it really is. The reason is that what was the white part of your eye is now bright red and can appear quite alarming.


Episcleritis does not usually pose a threat to your vision if you make an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible. If you do not seek medical attention and get it treated you could loose your vision. Approximately seventy percent of the cases of episcleritis occur in females. Although it can affect any age it is most frequently seen in middle-age and occurs between forty and fifty years of age but any one of any age or gender can get episcleritis. It is rare to see this medical condition in children younger than the age of five or in babies. If a child or baby does get episcleritis it will just be a inflammation that is mild and can last a week up to ten days. It is a common cause for someone to have red eye and can have episcleritis in one or both eyes.

Types of Episcleritis

There are different types of episcleritis:

Nodular episcleritis

This is the most painful type of episcleritis and have nodules in the loose connective tissue that you have between the white of your eye and the inside of your eyelids

Simple episcleritis

This is the most common type of episcleritis and can cause bouts of inflammation to recur with each recurrence lasting from a week to ten days. The duration can be longer if it is connected to another medical condition.

Episcleritis Symptoms

The symptoms will normally be mild. The main symptoms are usually pain in the eye and acute redness. Some of the symptoms that can be associated with episcleritis can include:

  • Tenderness in the eye.
  • Being sensitivity to light which is called photophobia.
  • Tearing of the eye but without discharge.
  • In the white part of the eye you may see a purple or pink color.
  • Itchiness

Episcleritis Causes

What actually cases a person to have episcleritis is still not known. This makes this medical condition an idiopathic medical condition. This just means that it is a medical condition that has no particular known cause. Although there is no exact cause known for episcleritis there are some things that might cause a case of episcleritis.

Inflammatory conditions are thought to be one of the causes of having this medical condition and some of these inflammatory conditions can include:

  • Having rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Having lupus
  • Having irritable bowel disease like Colitis.
  • Having Irritable bowel syndrome.

There are also a variety of other underlying medical conditions that could cause of a person having episcleritis which can include:

  • Herpes simplex infection
  • Herpes zoster
  • Tuberculosis
  • Having rosacea
  • Having gout
  • Being stressed out
  • Chlamydia
  • Menstruation
  • Addison’s disease
  • Autoimmune diseases and disorders
  • Allergies such as hay fever

In children under the age of five and babies there is no exact answer as to what can cause episcleritis but in children older than five it is thought to be associated with rheumatologic diseases. When a woman was it during the end of her menstruation or during her pregnancy it could be hormonal changes as the reason for cases of episcleritis during these times.

Episcleritis Pictures

Photos, Images and Pictures collection of Episcleritis…

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Diagnosis

In addition to seeing your eye they optometrist will do an exam of your eye to positively diagnose episcleritis as there are other eye diseases that could cause these symptoms. They will also do a family history to see there is any medical condition or disease that could cause the episcleritis.

Episcleritis Treatment

Normally it is not necessary to have treatment done because it is just a mild inflammation that will generally go away with a week or two on its own. If a person has nodular episcleritis it can take a little longer to clear up as it is a more aggressive form of episcleritis. For discomfort you can get an over-the-counter saline solution. To make sure that the solution is going to help with you eye put in the refrigerator for an hour so the chill of the solution will help with the inflammation. If it is a severe case of episcleritis your optometrist may give you a prescription for mild steroid eye drops and/or anti-inflammatory medication. Either of these medications will help make the symptoms disappear quicker. Unfortunately with either of these two medications there are side effects that could be worse than actually having episcleritis. Other treatments can include:

  • Several times a day put in topical corticosteroid eye drops.
  • Topical lubricant eye drops like Artificial Tears.
  • Using cold compresses three to four times a day to give you dome comfort from the pain.

If you notice anything in or around your eyes or you are experiencing blurred vision, eye strain, or any other problems with you vision you should see your eye doctor as soon as you can.

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