Aa
A
A
Close
Avatar universal
Scleral thinning WITH PICTURE
The sclera in both my eyes has been thinning out for some unknown reason. I have had CT scan of my head and the results showed no masses or inflammation. But that was the only test they really gave me besides a regular eye examine. After the doctor, a highly recommended orbit specialist from the Marshfield Clinic, saw my scan results he dismissed me. Never even considering looking for an underlying reason for the scleral thinning. Even though I have a long family history of auto immune diseases such as Lupus and Scleroderma. He told me that "some peoples eyes are just different". But I know something is wrong. I have constant everyday headaches and eye pain. Not to mention a long list of weird symptoms: constant lower rib pain, large joint pain, difficulty swallowing, and muscle spasms. How can it be possible that my eyes would just start thinning for no apparent reason? So I'm begging if anyone knows anything that I should have my general doctor look for, please, please comment. Also, I have added a picture of my eye. It's hard to see the thinning, since it's difficult to get a close up of an eyeball, not to mention that the thinning is better seen at a different angle. But the thinning is the same on all sides of my eyes. Like a blue band in an almost perfect circle.
Cancel
18 Answers
Page 1 of 1
233488 tn?1310696703
This is from a past post:

The white part of the eye-the sclera- is normally white and is the outer of the three main layers of the eye "wall". Normally it is whitish in color, under the sclera is the "choroid" the layer that carries the arteries, veins and other blood vessels of the eye. The choroid has pigment cells in it and is dark blue in color, under the choroid and nearest the center of the eye is the "retina". The retina is the sight forming tissue of the eye. The retina is colorless and transparent in health.

When you look at someone's eye you see blood vessels that appear to be on the surface of the sclera. These are in the "conjunctiva" another transparent, elastic tissue that covers the sclera on the surface that we see when we look at someone's eyes. If the conjunctiva is irritated due to allergy, infection, or trauma the blood vessels dilate and the eye looks "blood-shot" or "pink".

The most common color change of the visible sclera is a yellowing that comes with age. This is really a result of the elastic fibers in the conjunctiva yellowing with time and exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun. A yellow thickening often develops at the 3  and 9 o'clock positions called a pingueculum. (a good reason to protect your eyes from extended bright sunlight with a hat and ultra-violet blocking sunglasses).


Now to your specific question. A blue appearance of the sclera is really due to thinning of the sclera allowing the bluish color of the choroid to show through. In older adults there often develops a localized blue spot on the visible conjunctiva called a "scleral plaque". It is not a serious problem and does not require any treatment.  When Ophthalmologists (EyeMDs or MD physicians that do medical and surgical eye care) operate on the back of the eye (especially retinal detachment surgery) there are often areas of blue sclera, sometimes rather large, that represent splits or almost absent areas of sclera. These are called "staphylomas".

Diffuse blue sclera results from thinning of the sclera. This might be present at birth or develop in childhood. Blue sclerae are most importantly associated with types I and II osteogenesis imperfecta. Blue sclera may also be associated with:

Ehler's danlos syndrome
pseudoxanthoma elasticum
Marfan's syndrome

Blue sclera may also be acquired through long-term use of corticosteroids.

There is no specific treatment usually done for blue sclera. Diagnosis and treatment of any underlying disease is very important. If a localized area of thinning is about to rupture sometimes a "scleral patch graft" can be used to strengthen the area.

With your daughter's complex history and the excellent job her physicians have done making these unusual and often difficult diagnoses, I'm sure she's seen a pediatric ophthalmologist and an endocrinologist. They would be in the best position to answer your question more specific to her case. I suggest you discuss your concern with them.


JCH MD
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
But shouldn't there be some sort of testing done to ensure that it's not thinning do to an underlying disease? All the doctors did was test for scleritis. Should I be more vocal about getting some more tests done? Is it common for that much scleral thinning to just appear one day for no reason?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
233488 tn?1310696703
You can certainly get a second opinion. My recommendation would be an Eye MD that specializes in corneal/external disease. Find one near you at www.aao.org

Know that far, far and away the most common cause is just a relatively thin sclera (which gets thinner as we get older) showing the blue choroid layer under it.

Think of it like a thin person that has very visible veins under their skin. Its normal for a thin person.

JCH MD
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
When you say it's normal from aging, do you mean that at any age it can happen? Because I'm only 25 years old.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
233488 tn?1310696703
Any age if you use the search feature you'll see than many of the questions like this are about newborns and babies.

JCH MD
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
This was 3 years ago but I hope you still check this. I have the same problem, noticed 3 days ago. Seen 2 different doctors and all they tell me is they are baffled and dont know what it is. There is nothing wrong with my eyes, yet no one seems to know what is causing this. Please, please let me know if you ever found out what caused this. my email is ***@****
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
233488 tn?1310696703
=
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
I have a 3 months baby ,he has gray part in his sclera.in both eyes.i just wonder is that normal or not
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
233488 tn?1310696703
It is almost always normal and due to the thin baby sclera (white part) over the blue choroid under it. As the sclera thickens it goes away. It is a frequently asked question and you can use the search feature and archives and read other posts.

JCH MD
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
My 2 monthes old daughter has blue-grey sclera i just noticed 2 days ago i have never noticed before..is that normal due to thin sclera or i have to consult a doctor to check if is it normal or sign of inheried bone disorder?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
You DEFINITELY need to research Ehlers-Danlos. It causes all of the symptoms you mentioned. I would see a geneticist if I were you. My daughter has vascular EDS. Its rare so make sure you ask for one who knows what EDS is...ednf.org is a good place to start.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
233488 tn?1310696703
-
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
You need to be tested for all autoimmune disorders--rheumatoid arthritis, multiple scherosis, lupus.  My initial panel came back negative--chest xray, ppd(tuberculosis), ankylosing spondylitis, uric acid, myeloperoxidase antibody, and hla-b25, and ANA screen for RA.  
With your various symptoms though, muscle spasms, difficulty swallowing , etc., autoimmune seems certain.  Autoimmune is where the body attacks itself, not recognizing the foreign bacteria, but healthy tissue, organs are attacked.  
An eye doctor was certain that I had a full blown autoimmune-after seeing the extreme damage in my right eye-thinning sclera, corneal damage, and
and synechiea.  However, none discovered yet.  Hard to diagnose due to similarities in symptoms.  A  rhematologist  may be needed.  Next target for me is to get my thyroid checked and full metabolic panel. Good luck!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
Blue sclera is a sign of anemia which has hypothyroidism as a root cause. See the work of Dr. David Brownstein. Hope this helps!  Isabelle
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
15863869 tn?1443559342
Thank you for your most welcomed explanation of the eye and in
particular, answering that individual who was concerned about her Scleral Thinning. I have some thinning myself in two areas of my left eye. My  Eye Specialist has not explained anything, so your narrative is most welcomed. God bless you for the light in this regard.
JTM.    
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
177275 tn?1438375244
Glad to be of help. JCH MD
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar universal
Can wearing contact lenses cause thinning sclera, cornea and dry eyes? How to avoid them if I want to wear them daily?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
177275 tn?1438375244
Dry eyes is the most common reason that people have to stop wearing contacts. The contacts don't cause it.  Does not cause scleral thinning. Contacts can use bumps on eye near the cornea called pinguecula    JCH MD
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Your Answer
Avatar universal
Answer
Know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Submit Answer
A
A
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Eye Care Community Resources