Scleritis is inflammation of the sclera or the white part of the eyeball. This disease cannot be taken lightly. If not treated properly, scleritis can cause severe eye damage, even blindness.
The sclera is the hard, white outer layer of the eye. This part of the eye is composed of connective tissue fibers. The sclera extends from the edge of the cornea to the optic nerve, which is located at the back of the eye.
Causes and Risk Factors for Scleritis of the Eyes
The cause of scleritis is generally not known clearly, but it is often associated with inflammation that occurs in the body. This inflammation can be caused by autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and diabetes rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, there are several risk factors that can increase a person's risk of developing scleritis. Some of these risk factors for scleritis include:
- 40-50 years old.
- Female gender.
- Suffering from connective tissue diseases, such as vasculitis.
- Have an eye infection.
- Have had an eye injury.
- Have a history of eye surgery.
Types of Scleritis in the Eyes
Based on the part of the eye that is affected, scleritis can be divided into two types, namely:
Anterior scleritis is inflammation of the sclera on the front side of the eyeball. Anterior scleritis can cause the white area of the eyeball to look red. In some cases, anterior scleritis can cause small bumps to appear on the sclera of the eye.
This type of scleritis is further divided into several types, namely:
- Anterior diffuse. This is the most common and treatable scleritis. This type of scleritis causes redness of the eye and widespread inflammation over all or part of the front of the sclera.
- Nodular. This type of scleritis is characterized by a lump on the surface of the eye. These lumps are soft and painful to the touch.
- Necrotizing. This is the most severe type of anterior scleritis because it can damage the scleral tissue. Necrotizing scleritis can cause severe pain in the eyeball. If left untreated, this type of scleritis can even cause the sufferer to lose an eyeball.
Posterior scleritis is inflammation of the sclera on the back side of the eyeball. Posterior scleritis sometimes occurs with anterior scleritis.
Symptoms of posterior scleritis are sometimes difficult to detect because they are not visible from the outside. Posterior scleritis usually doesn't cause redness or lumps in the eye, but this type of scleritis can cause swelling inside the eyeball, which can cause blurred vision.
Regardless of the type, scleritis needs to be checked by an eye doctor. Treatment for scleritis depends on the severity and cause.
Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, such as corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, to reduce pain and inflammation of the sclera. If the sclera is torn or severely damaged, surgery may be required.
Scleritis is a serious disease. There is no treatment or home treatment steps that can be done to treat this disease. If you experience symptoms of scleritis, you need to immediately see an eye doctor for treatment.