What is the definition of Episcleritis?

Episcleritis is irritation and inflammation of the episclera, a thin layer of tissue covering the white part (sclera) of the eye. It is not an infection.

What are the causes for Episcleritis?

Episcleritis is a common condition. In most cases the problem is mild and vision is normal.

The cause is often unknown. But, it may occur with certain diseases, such as:

  • Herpes zoster
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Syphilis
  • Tuberculosis

What are the symptoms for Episcleritis?

Symptoms include:

  • A pink or purple color to the normally white part of the eye
  • Eye pain
  • Eye tenderness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Tearing of the eye

What are the current treatments for Episcleritis?

The condition most often goes away on its own in 1 to 2 weeks. Using corticosteroid eye drops may help ease the symptoms faster.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Episcleritis?

Episcleritis most often improves without treatment. However, treatment may make symptoms go away sooner.

What are the possible complications for Episcleritis?

In some cases, the condition may return. Rarely, irritation and inflammation of the white part of the eye may develop. This is called scleritis.

When should I contact a medical professional for Episcleritis?

Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of episcleritis that last for more than 2 weeks. Get checked again if your pain gets worse or you have problems with your vision.

External and internal eye anatomy


Cioffi GA, Liebmann JM. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 395.

Denniston AK, Rhodes B, Gayed M, Carruthers D, Gordon C, Murray PI. Rheumatic disease. In: Schachat AP, Sadda SVR, Hinton DR, Wilkinson CP, Wiedemann P, eds. Ryan's Retina. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 83.

Patel SS, Goldstein DA. Episcleritis and scleritis. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 4.11.

Schonberg S, Stokkermans TJ. Episcleritis. 2021 Feb 13. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan. PMID: 30521217 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30521217/.

  • Condition: Bilateral Tubercular Posterior Uveitis
  • Journal: BMJ case reports
  • Treatment Used: Antitubercular Therapy, Systemic Corticosteroids, and Immunosuppressive Therapy
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report describes a 27-year-old male diagnosed with bilateral tubercular posterior uveitis treated with antitubercular therapy, corticosteroids, and immunosuppressive therapy.
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Active, not recruiting
  • Phase: Phase 2
  • Intervention Type: Drug
  • Participants: 5
  • Start Date: April 4, 2019
Tofacitinib for the Treatment of Inflammatory Eye Disease
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Active, not recruiting
  • Intervention Type: Other
  • Participants: 1
  • Start Date: May 1, 2013
Prevalence of Ocular Manifestations in Inflammatory Rheumatic Diseases