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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.