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Scleritis is often an autoimmune inflammation that affects the sclera, or the white covering of the eyes that is made of collagen. It is a destructive condition that can cause pain and redness.
About half of patients with scleritis suffer from an autoimmune disease, including lupus, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Less commonly, infection or injury can trigger scleritis. Most patients are between the ages of 30 and 50, and women are affected at twice the rate of men.
Pain and redness are the most consistent symptoms of scleritis. Other symptoms include tenderness, swelling, and tearing in the eye. There might be pain in the jaw, face, or head as well. There is usually a lack of light sensitivity, which helps distinguish it from other similar conditions. If left untreated, symptoms can worsen and the condition can spread to other parts of the eye. Vision loss can also occur.
A proper diagnosis is important with scleritis patients. Your doctor will discuss your symptoms, medical history, and conduct a slit-lamp exam. Visual acuity and intraocular pressure will also be measured. Your doctor may use special eye drops to differentiate between scleritis and episcleritis, a similar condition that involves the tissue and vessels between the sclera and the conjunctiva.
The majority of scleritis cases have an identifiable factor that triggered the symptoms, including ocular surgery, sometimes even years earlier. The herpes virus can also cause scleritis.
Treatment of scleritis requires systemic therapy with oral anti-inflammatory medications or other immunosuppressive drugs. Oral steroids or a direct injection of steroids into the tissue may be prescribed. Treatment of associated diseases, such as glaucoma, may also be needed to stop the progression of scleritis.
The Cizik Eye Clinic opened in 2007 and is housed in Memorial Hermann Plaza at 6400 Fannin Street. It includes dozens of exam areas, multiple operating rooms, and laser suites equipped with the most sophisticated equipment available for patient care.
People travel from across the country and the world for treatment at the Cizik Eye Clinic, in part because our affiliation with the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth provides unmatched resources and expertise. Our friendly staff works diligently to make your visit pleasant and efficient, as we maximize patient flow through everything from routine eye exams to the most advanced eye surgeries.
Our physicians are faculty members at McGovern Medical School and are board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology or are board eligible. At the Cizik Eye Clinic, we understand that the eye is a small part of a whole patient who deserves top-notch, comprehensive care in a cutting-edge facility.
At Robert Cizik Eye Clinic, we offer patients access to highly specialized eye and vision care. To ask us a question, schedule an appointment, or learn more about us, please call (713) 486-9400, or click below to send us a message. In the event of an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.