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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 4, 2022.



is severe pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness of the sclera. The sclera is the white part of your eye. Scleritis can develop in the front or back of your eye. You may have scleritis in one or both eyes. Scleritis is not contagious.

Common signs and symptoms:

  • Pain that can be severe
  • Redness and swelling of the white part of your eye
  • Bumps on your sclera
  • Watery eye (*excessive tearing*)
  • Severe sensitivity to light
  • Decreased or blurry vision

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have vision loss.

Call your doctor or ophthalmologist if:

  • Your vision gets worse, even after treatment.
  • You have new or worsening eye pain.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for scleritis

depends on the type of scleritis you have. You may need any of the following:

  • Medicines:
    • Steroid medicine to decrease inflammation.
    • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
    • Antibiotics to prevent or treat an infection.
  • Surgery may be needed if your scleritis is severe. Surgery may help fix any damage to your eye and help prevent vision loss.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Apply a cool compress. Wet a washcloth with cold water and place it on your eye. This may help decrease swelling and irritation.
  • Do not wear contact lenses until your provider says it is safe to use them again.
  • Wear sunglasses outside to help decrease pain from bright light.
  • Do the following if you use eye drops:
    • Wash your hands before and after you put in eye drops.
    • Gently shake the bottle.
    • Do not touch the tip of the bottle to your eye. Germs from your eye can spread to the medicine bottle.
    • Tilt your head back and pull down your lower eyelid with your index finger.
    • Gently squeeze the bottle to drop the correct number of drops into your eye. Wait at least 5 minutes between each drop.
    • Close your eyes. Press your index finger against the inside corner of your eye next to your nose for 1 minute.
    • If you use more than one kind of drop, wait 10 to 15 minutes before you use the second one.
    • Gently wipe away any extra liquid with a tissue.
    • Replace the cap on the bottle.
    • Do not rub your eyes.
    Steps 1 2 3 4

Follow up with your doctor or ophthalmologist as directed:

You may need to see a specialist if you have an underlying condition. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.