Episcleritis is a condition where the out sclera, episclera, shows some redness. The eye will be a little gritty or ‘full’. The redness tends to be in a sector of the white of the eye. Usually at the outer edge towards the ear side, but it can be anywhere round the clockface. There is no increased light sensivity and no signifcant pain or vision loss. There is no significant discharge either. Episcleritis can be related to stress and is more common in the age group of about 30 – 50 years of age. Episcleritis can be confirmed with the use of phenylephrine eye drops, these cause constriction of the episcleral blood vessels. As a result of the drops the eye will blanche, look less red. And furthermore the pupil will dilate.
Episcleritis can be treated with lubrication and sometimes a short course of steroid eye drops. Steriod eye drops can increase the pressure in the eye, leading to glaucoma if used long term. There for it is important to use the steroid eye drops for a short duration, one week and take the eye pressure using goldman applanation tonometry before the steroid eye drops are used.
Below is an image of Episcleritis, the redness is usually in one sector:
Iritis, or anterior uveitis is an inflamation inside the eye related to the iris and surrounding tissue the uveal body. Anterior uveitis is a sight threatening condition and needs to be assessed as soon as possible. There will be redness at the fron of the eye, just around the iris, the redness will be diffuse and all round the iris. furhtermore there will be light sensitivity, photophobia and grittyness. Anterior uveitis can lead to glaucoma and permament loss of vision.
Below is an image of Iritis, this clearly shows the redness due to inflamation of the surrounding underlying cilliary body:
If you have a red eye, call us today and we can advise you further under the local MECS scheme.