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- What is Episcleritis?
- Diagnosing Episcleritis
- What Causes Episcleritis?
- Help for Episcleritis
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What is Episcleritis?
Episcleritis is an inflammatory condition of the episclera (the connective tissue between the conjunctiva and sclera in the eye). This type of eye inflammation, while bothersome and mildly uncomfortable, usually looks worse than it is and is not considered serious. In fact, Episcleritis usually disappears within 1 to 2 weeks without any medical treatment.
Statistically, women are more affected by episcleritis than men and it characteristically occurs in people who are in their 30''s and 40''s. Episcleritis can sometimes develop into a recurrent problem and in rare cases, may even develop into scleritis.
Episcleritis is diagnosed with a slit lamp (a microscope with a light attached that has been specifically designed for eye examinations). This is usually done by an optometrist and some general practitioners.
Your doctor will be on the look out for any discharge and pain and will have to rule out other eye inflammatory conditions, such as scleritis, which can be more serious.
The symptoms of Episcleritis are generally mild, with acute redness being the predominant symptom. This red appearance of the “white part” of the eye makes Episcleritis look similar to conjunctivitis, or pink eye, but there is generally no discharge or tearing and if pain, tenderness or discomfort does occur, it is usually mild and manageable.
What Causes Episcleritis?
Causes of episcleritis infection have not been established. In some cases the causes of episcleritis infection can be related to another inflammatory condition such as arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease. Other causes of episcleritis include underlying conditions such as gout, herpes simplex infection, rosacea, and tuberculosis.
Help for Episcleritis
Episcleritis is generally a mild condition and tends to disappear on its own without further intervention. Episcleritis infection treatment is then done with over the counter saline solutions if discomfort or pain are present. The solutions can be chilled and used to soothe the inflamed area.
In more severe cases, episcleritis infection treatment may include mild steroids and/or anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by your doctor. Make sure you are aware of all the side-effects of the medication you are prescribed as some of these can be more troubling than the actual eye condition itself!