When the protective outer layer of the eye (“white of the eye”) becomes red and inflamed, the condition can become quite painful. About half of all cases of “scleritis,” the medical term for inflammation of the “sclera,” are believed to be caused by an underlying autoimmune disorder, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The most common type, “diffuse scleritis,” involves widespread redness and inflammation throughout the whole (or a portion of) the front portion of the sclera and is the most treatable. “Nodular scleritis” presents with nodules or bumps on the surface of the eye, which are tender to the touch. The much more severe “necrotizing scleritis” is characterized by extreme pain and tenderness and can destroy scleral tissues.
P.S. The sclera makes up 83 percent of the eye’s surface.