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Bilateral posterior scleritis due to giant cell arteritis
  1. Ayesha Karimi,
  2. Tsz Lun Ernest Wong and
  3. Guy Negretti
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Redhill, Surrey, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ayesha Karimi; ayeshakarimi{at}


A woman aged mid 70s with mild learning difficulty presented with eye symptoms, headache and shoulder pains. She was found to have bilateral posterior scleritis secondary to giant cell arteritis. Posterior scleritis is a potentially blinding condition, with ambiguous symptoms and signs, therefore diagnosis is commonly delayed. This patient was seen in General Practice as well as in Accident and Emergency, where diagnoses of acute angle closure glaucoma as well as iritis were rightfully considered. Her symptoms persisted for 11 days before ophthalmic opinion was sought. Thorough assessment of a painful red eye as well as knowledge of these red-flag signs may allow early treatment and a better outcome for patients. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has published guidance on how to assess and manage visual loss in people with learning difficulties, including recognising ‘symptoms’ such as hesitancy on steps, eye rubbing and loss of interest in activities.

  • Ophthalmology
  • Visual pathway
  • Retina
  • Rheumatology
  • Emergency medicine

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  • Contributors AK and GN conceived the idea. AK, TW and GN acquired the data. AK and GN analysed the data. AK wrote the initial draft. AK, TW and GN edited the drafts and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.