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The sclera (say "SKLAIR-uh") is the white of the eye. It protects the eye's inner parts. There are several layers of the sclera. The episclera (say "eh-puh-SKLAIR-uh") is the top layer.
Episcleritis (say "eh-puh-skluh-RY-tus") means that the episclera is inflamed. The inflammation makes all or part of the white of the eye look red. For some people, the eye feels tender, hot, or irritated.
Episcleritis is not a serious eye problem. It doesn't damage your eye or harm your vision. Usually it starts suddenly, and the cause isn't known. Some people already have a health problem that could be related, such as rheumatoid arthritis or an infection.
To see if you have episcleritis, your doctor checks your vision. He or she looks closely at your eyes and talks to you about your symptoms. You may have tests and X-rays to look for medical problems that might be linked to your eye problem.
Episcleritis usually goes away on its own in a few days, though it can take a few weeks. Your doctor may prescribe eyedrops to help relieve the inflammation.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: January 24, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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