Episcleritis is an inflammatory condition affecting the episcleral tissue between the conjunctiva (the clear mucous membrane lining the inner eyelids and sclera) and the sclera (the white part of the eye) that occurs in the absence of an infection. The red appearance caused by this condition looks similar to conjunctivitis, but there is no discharge.
There is no apparent cause, but it can be associated with an underlying systemic inflammatory or rheumatologic condition such as rosacea, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Typical symptoms include generalized or local redness of the eyes that may be accompanied by mild soreness or discomfort but no visual problems.
Diagnosis of episcleritis is made clinically. A work-up may be needed in some cases to uncover a possible underlying medical condition.
Episcleritis generally clears without treatment, but topical or oral anti-inflammatory agents maybe prescribed to relieve pain or in chronic/recurrent cases. It is treated at Wilmer by the Ocular Surface Diseases and Dry Eye Clinic.