Episcleritis

Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled diagram of the structure of the retina

Episcleritis is inflammation of the episclera of the eye, which is the part of the eye between the conjunctiva and the sclera.

Initial symptoms may include the eye (or eyes) appearing to be red, and feeling tender and sore. Unlike conjunctivitis, episcleritis doesn't involve a discharge (release of fluid), though the eye (or eyes) may water. Symptoms may be accompanied by increased sensitivity to bright light.

There are two forms of episcleritis:

  • Simple episcleritis - which may involve intermittent instances of inflammation occuring every couple of months for about 1-2 weeks at a time.
  • Nodular episcleritis - may involve more prolonged periods of inflammation that are more painful than simple episcleritis. Nodular episcleritis is sometimes associated with underlying medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.


Treatment is not always necessary but when treated the first steps may concentrate on soothing the soreness and reducing inflammation. In rarer severe cases, treatment may involve use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).

Other related pages include

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

The following books may also be of interest:

The Aging Eye (Harvard Medical School)
MCQ Companion to the Eye (Textbook)
The Secret of Perfect Vision: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Nearsightedness
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Glaucoma: The Essential Treatments and Advances That Could Save Your Sight

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