/SiteAssets/Images/FMOLHSBlankBanner.png

Health Information

Episcleritis
Bookmarks

Episcleritis

Print-Friendly  

Episcleritis is irritation and inflammation of the episclera, a thin layer of tissue covering the white part (sclera) of the eye. It occurs without an infection.

Episcleritis is a common condition that is usually mild.

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

  • Herpes zoster
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Syphilis
  • Tuberculosis

I Would Like to Learn About:

  • Causes

    Episcleritis is a common condition that is usually mild.

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

    • Herpes zoster
    • Rheumatoid arthritis
    • Sjogren syndrome
    • Syphilis
    • Tuberculosis
  • Symptoms

    • A pink or purple color to the normally white part of the eye
    • Eye pain
    • Eye tenderness
    • Sensitivity to light
    • Tearing of the eye
  • Exams and Tests

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

  • Treatment

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

  • Outlook (Prognosis)

    Episcleritis usually improves without treatment. However, treatment may make symptoms go away sooner.

  • Possible Complications

    In some cases, the condition may return. Rarely, irritation and inflammation of the white part of the eye may develop. This is called scleritis.

  • When to Contact a Medical Professional

    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.

Related Information

  ScleraConjunctivaScleritisRheumatoid arthrit...Sjögren syndrome...ShinglesPulmonary tubercul...     Rheumatoid arthrit...

References

Yanoff M, Cameron D. Diseases of the visual system. In:Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 431.

Goldstein DA, Tessler HH. Episcleritis and scleritis. In:Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 4.11.

Watson P. Diseases of the sclera and episclera. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. 2011 ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2011:4;chap 23.

BACK TO TOP 

Review Date: 7/7/2012  

Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

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- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

 
A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and Google Chrome browser.