Episcleritis, an inflammatory condition affecting the episcleral tissue between the conjunctiva and the sclera (the white part of the eye), occurs in the absence of an infection.
The red appearance caused by this condition looks similar to conjunctivitis, although there is no discharge. There is no apparent cause, but it can be associated with underlying systemic inflammatory or rheumatologic conditions, such as rosacea, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Typical symptoms include generalized or local redness of the eyes that may be accompanied by mild soreness or discomfort, but no visual problems.
Diagnosis of episcleritis is made clinically. A work-up may be needed in some cases to uncover a possible underlying medical condition.
Episcleritis generally clears without treatment, but topical or oral anti-inflammatory agents maybe prescribed in chronic/recurrent cases or to relieve pain.