Episcleritis
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There are certain eye related disorders that are self limiting by nature but cause problems to the affected people nevertheless. One such disease is Episcleritis. The human eye’s protective, strong outer layer which is named sclera is covered by a thin wall called episclera.

This layer has several blood vessels and it gives the sclera essential nutrients. When it gets inflamed the condition is called Episcleritis. When a person is afflicted with this infection, his eyes become redder or pinkish. This may resemble the signs of conjunctivitis but in this case, no discharge or tearing takes place.

As a matter of fact, most of the patients suffering from this eye ailment are women. It usually attacks people above 30 years of age and in many instances it reappears after the first attack.

Types of Episcleritis

Episcleritis can be broadly categorized into 2 types. They are nodular and simple episcleritis.

The most prevalent type of the disease seen in the patients is simple episcleritis. In this variant, the disease strikes the victims with mild to extreme amount of inflammation at an interval of one to three months. Each episode of the inflammation lasts for one week to 10 days on an average. In majority of the cases, the signs disappear after two or three weeks.

However, there have been instances where the episodes of the disease have stretched beyond the usual duration. According to the feedback of some victims of the ailment, it has a higher chance of occurring during the seasons of spring and autumn. The onslaughts of the disease are said to be linked with mental stress and hormonal changes.

People suffering from nodular episcleritis have to deal with longer periods of inflammation. In these cases, the inflammation also induces more pain. There are many victims of nodular episcleritis who possess some type of allied systemic ailment.

Causes of Episcleritis

It is generally accepted that Episcleritis does not have any specific cause, even though it is a commonplace ailment in human beings. The medical community believes that it is often linked with some inflammatory medical conditions. The likely systematic conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, herpes simplex, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus and tuberculosis. In some rare cases of infection, external substance abuse like toxic chemicals has been found to be the cause behind the attack.

Symptoms of Episcleritis

The most common symptom of the malady is visual. When a person contracts Episcleritis his eyes turn red and he may feel a sensation of soreness. The eye area may feel uncomfortable. This makes many people mistake the disease for conjunctivitis which has identical symptoms. The afflicted patients may feel uncomfortable in brightly lit area.

This eye related disease can be identified with a slit lamp test.

Treatments of Episcleritis

Since episcleritis is resolved within a week or so it does not need any treatment in the majority of the instances. However, to soothe the irritation artificial chilled tears can be applied. When the patient is suffering from a case of severe inflammation, anti-inflammatory drugs and mild steroids are recommended by the doctors. The patients who find it uncomfortable to look in brightly lit area or sunlight can wear sunglasses.

Advice

Even though this disease does not cause any severe or permanent damage to one’s eye, care should be taken by a patient to stop its recurrence. If a person faces frequent attack of the disease, he should consult an eye specialist to know the ways of prevention. In most instances, the patients of simple episcleritis can do without any specific treatment.

However, the patients facing frequent attacks or prolonged durations may need anti-inflammatory agents and corticosteroid drops. It is particularly useful in treating the cases of nodular episcleritis as this variant can cause severe pain. One good anti-inflammatory medicine is Flurbiprofen. However, if it fails to bring relief to a patient, indomethacin can be used as an alternative. The dosage of these medicines should depend on the prescription of the doctor.

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Comments

Thanks for the information I understood theickness much better now I have been suffering from this sickness for last 4 years and this time it took longer time to heal
#1 - Arnolfa Coelho - 01/12/2009 - 00:42
i have been suffering from this illness for sometime now.this is the second time i'm having it and it takes over 3months to clear-i don't know if its because i try too many drugs.i've seen the doctors and they said the same things i'm reading here.i think what is causing mine is mental stress.
#2 - edwin - 02/03/2010 - 09:07
edwin were of the same situation.suffered twice as well.last year t'was on my left eye now on my right eye.ive been using steroid eye drop but if you are using this eye pressure monitoring is really important u need to come back to the ophthalmologist every now and then depending on the doctors order.im using eye lubricant as well and antibiotic eye ointment. now its pink and with a little bump. im being refferred to a rheumatoid specialist for a work up. i just undergone blood chem and waiting for the result 3 days from now. My ophthalmologist said there are a lot of possible systemic cause it could be arthritis,lupus(i hope not),gum disease, stress, hormonal imbalance. Medicines and doctors are already there but God is the one who truly helps me not to worry on this. God bless on us edwin.
#3 - ling - 10/01/2010 - 21:18
i am studing vision technician it is useful for reading and easily diagnos the patients with your help. thank you
#4 - bharath - 11/06/2010 - 01:49
I have had this four-five times in the last 15 years. I am 44. It gets very red and sore. My eye tears alot. I can't stand light. In the morning it takes about an hour to open my eye because it hurts and is sore, sensitive and tearing. The aspirin helps a little. It is hard to focus even with the good eye. I usually take aspirin every 4 hours. In the past the doctor gave me prednisone eye drops and indocin pills. It is scary to think I might have an underlying condition causing this. It may just be stress.
#5 - tt - 11/09/2010 - 07:18
I have had this condition, 4 times in the past 2 years, and it is very painful, the only way I can describe it, Is someone sticking needles in my eyes, every time I move my eyeball. I wake up from REM sleep in Agony. I have been checked for lupus as my sister has it, but I dont, thankfully, stress, and joint pain, I have been told is the cause, Tennis Elbow and disc disease in my lower back.. I hate Pain, and Im stuck with it, the more stressed the more pain. Episcleritis is also linked to dry hot countrys, and as I live just outside Edinburgh, Scotland, I dont think its that with me, but may be useful to other readers. keep eyes lubricated, it does help with the pain!
#6 - Suzie - 08/09/2011 - 17:27
I've had the condition for about 10 years now, so I've learned how to manage it (for me). I can only use Dove soap, and I wear gl[@]es if I ever use bleach, and also when I brush my teeth, because if the bleach or toothpaste flick into my eyes I get a severe flare-up and look like something from a horror movie. If anything foriegn goes into the eyes I rinse immediately with running cold water from the tap. I don't wear make-up, and also have to be careful about what I put on my hair. If I do have any problems, which is rare due to my precautions I find that Albalon eye drops are gentle and help, but water rinse and resting the affected eye afterwards gets good results. Good luck everyone!!! I know it's awful, and you have to find what causes your own flare-ups.
#7 - Karen - 11/12/2011 - 07:23
My 7 year old developed nodular episcleritis in August, it is just now almost cleared up via steroid eye drops only as treatment. I find it interesting that underlying conditions can cause this, as he was dx with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome this year. I wonder if this will be an ongoing issue for him. I hope not! We live in South Florida (USA) in a very tropical/humid environment. I hope you all are healed and well!
#8 - Sam - 10/21/2013 - 21:04
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