What is scleritis?

Scleritis or necrotizing scleritis, is a chronic inflammation, occurs mainly in the membrane or outer layer of the eye (the sclerotic area). Its observation is very peculiar but has a high degree of danger, since it affects the vision of people.

Like certain conditions such as styes, scleritis is related to a weak immune system andother diseases that affect its functioning, (such as AIDS which is also included) therefore it is a symptom of various types of diseases.

Important: A medical study warns that “scleritis threatens vision, is disabling, decreases quality of life, requires the chronic use of medications with serious side effects and can lead to organ loss.” (1)

Types of scleritis

Scleritis manifests itself in different forms or stages. Therefore we summarize its appearance in two specific types that are the following:.

1. Anterior scleritis

Of the same inflammatory character, anterior or diffuse scleritis as it is also known, appears in the external ocular structures, where the sclera is specifically located, being then the most notable. It is seen by inflammations of the blood vessels surrounding the eye.

2. Posterior scleritis

Posterior scleritisoccurs in another layer other than the ocular organ, affecting the transparent corneaand is manifested by pain in eye movement, for which patients are prescribed drugs in these cases, due to the danger of vision loss.

Note: A study mentions that “Posterior scleritis is a rare pathology, often underdiagnosed that can potentially cause blindness” . (two)

What causes scleritis?

Scleritis is nothing more than a symptom of various diseases, some closely related to the immune system, others are inflammatory or vascular in nature. We present the main causes:

1. Autoimmune disorders

Also called autoimmune disorders, they are a series of conditions where the body attacks healthy cells in the body (as it shouldn’t).

It is theorized that the causes of these disorders are the presence of very harmful bacteria or viruses,including drug abuse. Autoimmune conditions are highlighted in the following:Crohn’s disease, diabetes of the first type, arthritis and lupus.

Note: According to a study mention “Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the production of antibodies and/or effector T cells that are autoreactive”. (3)

2. Inflammatory bowel disease

This is also a disorder related to the digestive tract , Crohn’s disease was mentioned earlier and there is also ulcerative colitis.

Both affect the area of the small intestine and the digestive tube, symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea or tenesm can occur . For this reason, surgery is sometimes used instead of drugs.

To highlight: According to a medical investigation “Inflammation of the intestinal mucosa causes ulceration, edema, bleeding and hydroelectrolytic imbalance.” (4)

3. Vasculitic-type diseases

Also summarized in Vasculitis, it constitutes a series of diseases characterized by the inflammation of blood vessels and the development of severe ischemia.

Note: As a result they affect a wide variety of organs, mainly the lungs, the kidney and even the brain, apart from an abnormal alteration in the immune systemtag. These conditions are studied in many people, but not always with a certain origin.

4. Infections

Direct infections towards open wounds, contact with bacteria or viruses, are a main cause of scleritis.

This includes the contact of microorganisms towards the ocular membrane , resulting in inflammation and redness of the eyes.

Note: There are several ways to get an eye infection, such as: poor hygiene, contact with infected surfaces, improper use of contact lenses, sexual intercourse and even the manipulation of the hands towards the eyes.

5. Trauma

It can be Closed Eye Trauma , related to severe contusions or blows by objects or aggressive maneuvers.

As well as open wounds,which are caused by blunt or sharp objects, see a knife or more domestic objects such as pencils, among others. At this point children should be given attention and warned.

6. Eye surgery

Eye surgeries can permanently change the view in the eye, so they can have disturbing side or long-term effects.

Important: Whether it is styes or acute scleritis, one must be alert in a situation after a surgical procedure for the eye, so that drugs can be prescribed or the eye infection can be examined by a specialist doctor.

What are the symptoms of scleritis?

Symptoms are essential keys to quickly diagnose this eye condition. Therefore, we summarize what are those symptoms that you should be aware of:

1. Pain, redness and inflammation

(the outer layer of the eye) can be witnessed

In addition to a notable inflammation around the eye organ and redness, especially within the membrane, where the blood vessels are noticeable.

2. Diffused vision

Scleritis Can cause severe visual acuity.It is not a pleasant experience and is the most alert symptom. A diffuse vision can be presented or, better said, ablurred vision and low sharpness.

Note: This can be related to both a disease and myopia, but it must be diagnosed early because it causes eye fatigue and severe dizziness.

3. Tearing

Eye dilation or excessive tearing is due to intense discomfort in the eye organ, where precisely the organ is forced to generate more tears and relieve the pain or dryness that exists in it.

It can be annoying for certain situations, excessive tearing is not always common, so it is necessary to take it into account.

4. Sensitivity to light

An enormous sensitivity to bright lights can be felt on the retina,such as sunlight in full view, which can be detrimental. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause dry eyes, lead to complications and worsen inflammation, especially in the retina.

How is the treatment to cure scleritis?

Fortunately, if you have a good diagnosis by a specialist,scleritis can be cured with a fairly effective procedure. For this reason, we present to you how to prepare an adequate treatment for scleritis:

1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

The use of these drugs is in order to reduce pain or inflammation of the ocular membrane , they act as analgesics and antipyretics. Doses should not be high, because there is a risk of side effects.

Note: The best known medications are ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen.

2. Corticosteroids

Although they are similar in relieving inflammation or pain, they contain other chemicals such as cortisone, hydrocortisone, and prednisone.

These are ideal for eruptions or intestinal diseases,it would not act directly on scleritis but on the cause of it. Similarly, they should be taken in small and moderate doses.

3. Antibiotics

Antibiotics, depending on the specialist’s prescription, are used to alleviate or prevent the growth of bacteria in the body, especially in the eyeball.

Important: These microorganisms can cause eye diseases directly,just by contact with the membrane without prior warning. For this reason it is necessary to take these drugs for many very extreme cases of scleritis or anterior scleritis.

4. Immunosuppressants

These drugs inhibit or prevent the activation of T cells , those formed by the immune system and intended to protect the body from infection or cancer.

These contain cyclosporine, tacrolimus, sirolimus , the vast majority is orally, they must be in small doses or those recommended by a pharmacist.

Key Conclusions

  • Scleritis is an inflammation in the outer layer of the eye , which can be anterior or posterior, but with the same danger factor.
  • Scleritis can also be caused by trauma and surgical eye procedures.
  • Treatment consists of the use of oral drugs such as antibiotics prescribed by a specialist doctor.

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