What is the Difference Between Conjunctivitis and Scleritis?

Difference Between Conjunctivitis and Scleritis: Conjunctivitis and scleritis are both common eye diseases. Conjunctivitis is an inflammatory disease that occurs outside the conjunctival tissue. Scleritis is caused by an infection of the sclera.

Both conditions can cause certain effects and damage to the patient’s eyes. According to different diseases, the appropriate treatment method needs to be selected. Here we discuss five differences between conjunctivitis and scleritis.

  • Agents of Infection: Conjunctivitis is caused by infection with microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, chlamydia, etc.), in addition, it is also caused by physical stimuli, chemical damage, and allergic reactions, often referred to as “pink eye”. Scleritis is an infectious disease of the sclera characterized by red eye and decreased vision, as well as severe eye pain.

  • Causes: Conjunctivitis refers to inflammation of the membranous structures on the surface of the white eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelid, usually related to inattentive eye health or allergic factors. For example, Wiping eyes with dirty hands, Improper method of removing contact lenses, and Eye contact with unqualified water quality in swimming pools, ponds, rivers, and lakes, Pathogens in these external environments can contaminate the eye and infect the conjunctival tissue develop inflammation. Scleritis is inflammation of the wall of the eye that occurs in the deep layer of the white eye, usually caused by an autoimmune reaction. Generally, this is inflammation caused by the body’s immune system mistakenly viewing the bones and sclera as harmful tissue.

  • Symptoms: The main symptoms of conjunctivitis is redness of the eye, slight tingling, a foreign body sensation, itching, and a large discharge from the eye. The main symptom of scleritis is local hyperemia of the white eyeball. The hyperemia is deep and subconjunctival and is often accompanied by significant pain, especially when pressing on the hyperemic area.

  • Treatment: Antibiotic eye drops are mainly used to control conjunctivitis. For example, a large amount of yellow discharge in the eye, usually caused by a bacterial infection, requires antibiotic eye drops. If there is a large amount of watery discharge in the eye, it is usually caused by a viral infection, so antiviral eye drops are needed. If it is allergic conjunctivitis, you need to use anti-allergic eye drops. If the patient suffers from severe conjunctivitis, it is necessary to take topical drug adjustment plus oral drug adjustment to effectively control the disease. Treatment of scleritis requires the use of hormonal eye drops to suppress the immune response. In addition, there are two types of scleritis: superficial scleritis and deep scleritis. After the occurrence of scleritis, the type of scleritis should be dialectically analyzed first, and then the corresponding treatment measures can be taken. Superficial scleritis can recover quickly as long as you have good living habits, and deep periostitis requires drug treatment.

  • Prevention: In the initial stage of conjunctivitis, eye redness, and itching sensation are usually present, which is related to infection. There is no secretion in scleritis, but it needs to be determined whether it is superficial or deep scleritis, which is generally related to poor immunity of the body. At the same time, to avoid eye diseases, we should pay attention to eye hygiene.

5 Key Difference Between Conjunctivitis and Scleritis

Agents of InfectionCaused by microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, chlamydia), physical stimuli, chemical damage, and allergic reactions. Commonly known as “pink eye.”Caused by an infection of the sclera, characterized by an autoimmune response where the immune system attacks the scleral tissue.
CausesInflammation of the conjunctival tissue, often due to poor eye hygiene, improper handling of contact lenses, or exposure to contaminated water.Inflammation of the sclera, often associated with systemic autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, and tuberculosis.
SymptomsRedness of the eye, mild pain, foreign body sensation, itching, and significant discharge (watery or purulent).Severe pain, deep redness of the eye, decreased vision, deep and subconjunctival hyperemia, pronounced pain when pressing on the affected area.
TreatmentAntibiotic eye drops for bacterial infections, antiviral drops for viral infections, anti-allergic drops for allergic conjunctivitis. Severe cases may require both topical and oral medications.Corticosteroid eye drops to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune response. Treatment depends on the type of scleritis (superficial vs. deep), with deep scleritis requiring more aggressive medical intervention.
PreventionGood eye hygiene, frequent hand washing, proper handling of contact lenses, avoiding contaminated water, and not sharing personal items.Managing underlying systemic autoimmune conditions, regular healthcare check-ups, and maintaining overall immune health.

What is Scleritis?

  • The sclera is an important part of the white eyeball.
  • Scleritis is a severe autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects the layers of the sclera of the eye and affects the episcleral blood vessels.
  • According to the depth of inflammation, it can be divided into episcleritis and scleritis (ie, deep inflammation of the sclera).
  • Scleritis is further divided into anterior scleritis and posterior scleritis.
  • Most of them are caused by systemic diseases, especially the manifestations of connective tissue diseases in the eye, such as rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, etc.
  • The main manifestations of scleritis are eye pain and redness, and there may be swelling and tenderness in the sclera.
  • Because scleritis is mostly caused by systemic diseases, it is necessary to find the cause, such as whether there are immune diseases such as rheumatism and tuberculosis.
  • Doctors said that episcleritis is generally self-limiting, usually recovering in 1-2 weeks, and anti-inflammatory treatment can be carried out if the symptoms are apparent. Inflammatories, etc.
  • The more severe scleritis requires more in-depth treatment according to the condition.
  • The eye redness of conjunctivitis is mainly due to conjunctival vascular congestion, the color is bright red, and the blood vessels will move when the conjunctiva is pushed; while the eye redness caused by scleritis is mainly due to the expansion and congestion of scleral blood vessels, which is dark red or purple.
  • When the conjunctiva is pushed, the blood vessels will move. will not move with it.

What is conjunctivitis?

  • Conjunctivitis is an infectious eye disease characterized by “red eye”, swollen and sore eyes, itchy eyes, overflowing tears, and sometimes difficulty opening the eyes.
  • Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is mainly caused by allergies, viral infections, and bacterial infections.
  • The most common cause of conjunctivitis is microbial infection.
  • The causative microorganisms can be bacteria, such as pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, gonococcus, etc.
  • Viruses such as herpes simplex virus, chlamydia, occasionally fungi, and parasitic infections.
  • Physical irritants include sand, dust, ultraviolet rays, etc. In addition, chemical damage can also cause conjunctivitides, such as medical drugs, acids, alkalis, or toxic gases.
  • Conjunctivitis can be divided into acute or chronic conjunctivitis. The two are different. The specific analysis is as follows:
  • Acute conjunctivitis: It is a relatively common pink eye disease, which is contagious. Patients with acute conjunctivitis.
  • Chronic conjunctivitis: The symptoms of some patients are related to dry eyes.
  • After suffering from conjunctivitis, the best way is to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible, let the doctor diagnose the cause of the disease, and then treat it according to the cause and specific symptoms.
  • Conjunctivitis is most contagious, so frequent hand washing should be encouraged and random eye rubbing should be avoided.
  • It is advisable to wash your face with running water, separate towels, handkerchiefs, and other items from others.
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