The Sclera pp 299-307 | Cite as

Treatment: The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Experience

  • C. Stephen Foster
  • Maite Sainz de la Maza


Episcleritis may or may not require treatment; scleritis always does. Although simple, diffuse episcleritis may produce low-grade aggravation and temporary cosmetic consequences for the patient, it does not absolutely require therapy, because untreated it will eventually resolve leaving no sequelae. Regrettably, topical steroid therapy appears to be the reflex treatment prescribed by many physicians in developed countries. This is regrettable not simply because of the potential side effects of such treatment, but because experience suggests that such treatment actually prolongs the overall duration of the patient’s problem: the number of recurrences following discontinuation of each episode of steroid therapy appears to be greater, and a so-called “rebound effect,” in which the episcleritis intensifies with each recurrent episode after discontinuation of steroid therapy, has been observed. Our philosophy, and that of Watson,1 is to leave simple episcleritis untreated except for comfort and supportive therapy, such as cold compresses and iced artificial tears. It appears that, on the basis of the results of a randomized double-masked placebo-controlled clinical trial, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory therapy is not effective.2


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Systemic Corticosteroid Polyarteritis Nodosa Relapse Polychondritis Oral Nsaid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Stephen Foster
    • 1
  • Maite Sainz de la Maza
    • 2
  1. 1.Harvard Medical School, Immunology and Uveitis ServiceMassachusetts Eye and Ear InfirmaryBostonUSA
  2. 2.Central University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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