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Episcleritis – Causes and Symptoms of Episcleritis

Episcleritis is an inflammation and irritation of episclera of eye. Episclera is a connective tissue present between the conjuctiva and sclera in the eye. Sclera in the eye is a protective outer layer and derives nutrients from the episclera that has several blood vessels. Though the condition is not too serious, it looks worse and is mildly uncomfortable.

The condition usually attacks people above 30 years of age and women are more affected than men. In many conditions, it reappears after the first attack.

Causes of Episcleritis
Episcleritis is common in human beings but its actual cause is unknown. Studies reveal that it is always linked with other medical conditions. The below mentioned conditions are associated with episcleritis:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Herpes simplex
  • Rosacea
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gout
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Toxic chemicals are also responsible for the attack and is a rarer cause

Symptoms of Episcleritis
The common symptoms that a person develops from episcleritis are:

  • Tearing of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye tenderness
  • Eye pain
  • White part of the eye becomes pink to purple color

The symptoms look similar to conjunctivitis but episcleritis doesn’t cause discharge.

Episcleritis occurs in two forms. They are simple and nodular episcleritis.

Simple episcleritis: This form occurs frequently. The inflammation lasts for a week to 10 days and the condition repeatedly affects the victim for a period of one to three months. The chance of the occurrence is more in spring and autumn seasons. Hormonal changes and mental stress are the symptoms observed.

Nodular episcleritis: This condition is more painful than simple episcleritis and the inflammation stays for a longer period. The condition is always associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Diagnosis of Episcleritis

Episcleritis is diagnosed by an eye examination. Doctor looks for the discharge, pain and scleral layer involvement to treat the problem effectively.

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