Episcleritis

Episcleritis is an inflammatory condition of the connective tissue between the conjunctiva and sclera known as the episclera. There is no infection present with episcleritis. Episcleritis is usually mild and rarely progresses to scleritis. The cause is usually unknown, but certain diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, syphilis, herpes zoster and tuberculosis have been associated with episcleritis. Women are typically affected by episcleritis more frequently than men, is recurrent, and characteristically occurs in people in their 30’s and 40’s. The precipitating factor is rarely found, but attacks have been associated with stress and hormonal changes. It is a common condition.

 


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Episcleritis

Symptoms - Head - Eyes/Ocular  

Bloodshot eyes



Counter Indicators
Symptoms - Head - Eyes/Ocular  

Moist eyes



 

No discharge from eyes

Episcleritis looks like conjunctivitis, but there is no discharge or tearing.




Risk factors for Episcleritis

Autoimmune  


 


 


Infections  


 


 


Musculo-Skeletal  


 


Skin-Hair-Nails  


Symptoms - Head - Eyes/Ocular  

Past episodes of bloodshot eyes




Episcleritis suggests the following may be present

Autoimmune  


 


 


 


Infections  


 


 


 


Inflammation  

Chronic Inflammation

Episcleritis usually has no apparent cause; however, it is sometimes associated with systemic inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease. Rosacea, herpes simplex, gout, tuberculosis, and other diseases are also occasionally underlying causes.



Musculo-Skeletal  


 


Skin-Hair-Nails  



Recommendations for Episcleritis

Drug  

NSAIDs

Treatment for episcleritis is usually not needed. Chilled artificial tears can be used to soothe the eye and reduce mild inflammation. In more severe cases of episcleritis, mild steroids and anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed to reduce inflammation.



Key

Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Strongly counter-indicative
May do some good

Glossary

Conjunctiva

Mucous membrane covering the posterior surface of the eyelids and the anterior surface of the eyeball.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A long-term, destructive connective tissue disease that results from the body rejecting its own tissue cells (autoimmune reaction).

Syphilis

A sexually-transmitted disease, with symptoms in the early contagious stages being a sore on the genitalia, a rash, patches of flaking tissue, fever, a sore throat, and sores in the mouth or anus.

Shingles

A severe infection caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus (VZV), affecting mainly adults. It causes painful skin blisters that follow the underlying route of brain or spinal nerves infected by the virus. Also know as herpes zoster.

Tuberculosis

Also known as TB, Consumption or "The White Plague", tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, usually affecting the lungs but possibly also the brain, kidneys and bones. Patients may at first be symptom-free or experience a flu-like illness. In the secondary stage, there might be a slight fever, night sweats, weight loss, fatigue and various other symptoms, depending on the part of the body affected. Tuberculosis of the lung is usually associated with a dry cough that eventually leads to a productive cough with blood-stained sputum. There might also be chest pain and shortness of breath.

Arthritis

Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.

Herpes Simplex

An infection, often recurrent, caused by herpes virus type 1 and 2. It causes cold sores around the lips and mouth, and also causes painful blisters on the genitals and in the pubic area, thighs, and buttocks.

Gout

A disease characterized by an increased blood uric acid level and sudden onset of episodes of acute arthritis.

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