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1.inflammation of the sclera
1.(MeSH)Refers to any inflammation of the sclera including episcleritis, a benign condition affecting only the episclera, which is generally short-lived and easily treated. Classic scleritis, on the other hand, affects deeper tissue and is characterized by higher rates of visual acuity loss and even mortality, particularly in necrotizing form. Its characteristic symptom is severe and general head pain. Scleritis has also been associated with systemic collagen disease. Etiology is unknown but is thought to involve a local immune response. Treatment is difficult and includes administration of anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents such as corticosteroids. Inflammation of the sclera may also be secondary to inflammation of adjacent tissues, such as the conjunctiva.
Scleritis‖Scle*ri"tis (skl�*rī"tĭs), n. [NL.] See Sclerotitis.
inflammation; redness; rubor[ClasseHyper.]
inflammation, redness, rubor[Hyper.]
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|Classification and external resources|
|MedlinePlus||001003 scleritis. 001019 episcleritis|
Scleritis is a serious inflammatory disease that affects the white outer coating of the eye, known as the sclera. The disease is often contracted through association with other diseases of the body, such as Wegener's granulomatosis or rheumatoid arthritis; it can also be attained through disorders of menstruation. For this reason, scleritis occurs frequently among young women. There are three types of scleritis: diffuse scleritis (the most common), nodular scleritis, and necrotizing scleritis (the most severe). Scleritis may be the first symptom of onset of connective tissue disease.
Symptoms of the disease include:
Scleritis is best detected by examining the sclera in daylight; retracting the lids helps determine the extent of involvement. Other aspects of the eye exam (i.e. visual acuity testing, slit lamp examination, etc.) can be normal. Ancillary tests CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasonographies can be helpful, but do not replace the physical examination.
In very severe cases of necrotizing scleritis, eye surgery must be performed to repair damaged corneal tissue in the eye and preserve the patient's vision. For less severe cases, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, are prescribed for pain relief. Scleritis itself is treated with an oral medication containing corticosteroids and an eye solution. In some cases, antibiotics are prescribed. Simply using eye drops will not treat scleritis. In more aggressive cases of scleritis, chemotherapy (such as systemic immunosuppressive therapy with such drugs as cyclophosphamide or azathioprine) may be used to treat the disease. If not treated, scleritis can cause blindness.