What Is Scleritis?
Scleritis is a painful inflammation of the white part of the eye, called the sclera.
In almost half of all cases, scleritis is associated with an underlying autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.
There are two main types of scleritis: anterior and posterior.
Anterior scleritis, the most common type, affects the front part of the sclera. There are three types of anterior scleritis:
- Diffuse scleritis is the most common type and the most treatable. This type causes widespread redness and inflammation throughout the whole or a portion of the front portion of the sclera.
- Nodular scleritis, is known for nodules or bumps, often tender to the touch, on the surface of the eye.
- Necrotizing scleritis is the most severe form of anterior scleritis. It can destroy scleral tissues and in rare cases may lead to loss of the eye(s). This form can cause extreme pain and tenderness (although a rare form can occur without pain).
Posterior scleritis, the rarer form, affects the back part of the eye. It is often not related to an automimmune disease. Posterior scleritis can develop on its own or with the anterior form of scleritis. People with this type of scleritis may have pain and tenderness. This form can cause complications resulting in retinal detachment and angle-closure glaucoma.