Scleritis, inflammation of the sclera, is a typically painful, destructive condition that carries a potential risk of permanent ocular structural damage with visual compromise. Scleritis often manifests with an acute episode of marked ocular pain, swelling, and redness. It can also evolve with decreased vision, mainly in the presence of necrotizing disease or when inflammation involves the posterior sclera, threatening the central choroid and retina. Scleritis can be immune mediated or can be associated with infection, trauma, surgery, and medications. Approximately 40% of scleritis cases are associated with a systemic disease, especially rheumatoid arthritis. Early and accurate diagnosis is critical, as scleral inflammation can be the first sign of a treatable sight- or life-threatening disease.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 9 - Uveitis and Ocular Inflammation. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.