A rare cause of eye pain is a condition called scleritis. It is due to inflammation of the outer white coat of the eye(sclera). Most of the time, the eye is red and very tender to touch. There will be no eye discharge. Most patient describe the eye pain as one that awakens them at night with with an ache around the eye and head. As for uveitis, blood tests need to be done to determine the cause of scleritis which may be associated with autoimmune diseases like Systemic Lupus Erythemasosus , Rheumatoid Arhritis and Wegeners granulomatosis. Scleritis is an autoimmune condition and therefore is not contagious.
Mild to moderate scleritis is usually treated with oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Celebrex, Voltaren, Indocid and Ibuprofen together with steroid eye drops. In severe cases where there is thinning of the sclera as a result of inflammation, oral steroids may need to be given with other immunosuppressive drugs. In mild to moderate cases treatment may be tapered over 6 months.
Scleritis needs long term follow up
Scleritis often recurs and therefore patients need continued follow up, as early treatment will prevent complications such as sclera thinning and perforation. Sometimes, surgery is required to save the eye from leaking fluid and getting infected.
Consultant Ophthalmologist and Uveitis Specialist
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia