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Sclera, or sclera, is the name that receives the white part of the eyes. It covers from the cornea until optic nerve and is primarily responsible for protecting the ocular structure from external factors and shaping the eye.

This tissue may change color due to conditions such as scleritis or hepatitis. The sclera is much more than a white tissue, it is a fibrous structure that fulfills vital functions for visual health.

En Área Oftalmológica Avanzada We explain below what sclera is and what diseases can affect it.  

What is the sclera or white of the eyes? 

The sclera is a white, fibrous tissue that lines the back of the eye, from the cornea to the optic nerve. It also covers the choroid and is covered by another layer of tissue called conjunctiva.

The sclera forms the white part of the eye and is made up of collagen fibers, which are responsible for making the tissue strong, resistant and opaque.

When people are born, the sclera can be somewhat bluish and thin. However, as the years go by, and especially in old age, the sclera becomes yellowish due to the fat deposits that concentrate on it. 

The sclera of the eye is formed by three layers, which are:

  • La fuzzy layer It is the inner part and contains blood vessels that provide the fluid inside the eye.
  • La fibrous layer contains collagen.
  • La episcleral layer it is the tissue that facilitates the sliding of the eyeball with the other structures to make the eye movements.

function of the sclera

The sclera covers all the parts of the eye and is responsible for shaping the eyeball.

This white and opaque tissue acts to protect all internal parts of the eye from external factors that may affect them, such as dust, chemicals, sun rays, etc. 

diseases of the sclera

Any damage, inflammation or irritation of the sclera should be attended to by an ophthalmologist to prevent the injury from putting the internal health of the eyeball at risk.

Also, any color change in the sclera can be a symptom of a condition in the inner part of the eye.

Let's know the most common diseases that can affect the sclera:


It is the severe and chronic inflammation of the sclera, which may be caused by non-ophthalmic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, herpes simplex or systemic lupus erythematosus.

Among its main symptoms highlights the tissue redness, photophobia, excessive tearing and decrease in visual acuity.


It is the inflammation of the sclera spiesclerotic layer. Cause headache, double vision and pain when moving the eyes.

Episcleritis is less dangerous than scleritis.

Scleral melanocytosis

It involves congenital hyperpigmentation of the tissue due to an excessive accumulation of melanocyte cells in this part of the eye.

This condition is harmless and causes the formation of blue spots or brown in the white part of the eye.

Scleral ectasia

This condition occurs due to a significant increase in intraocular pressure which causes stretching and a decrease in the thickness of the sclera.


La jaundice or yellow eyes It is the yellowing of the skin and sclera due to a significant increase in bilirubin in the blood.

Jaundice is associated with liver diseases.

How do you make the diagnostic

To diagnose any condition that compromises the health of the sclera, it is necessary to go to the ophthalmologist to examine the entire ocular structure in order to offer an assertive diagnosis.

The sclera can be examined with different instruments such as a flashlight, a slit lamp or surveyor. The tests to be performed may vary according to the patient's symptoms.

Before any change in the sclera it is important to go immediately to the ophthalmologist.

An examination of the sclera is essential to ensure proper functioning of the eye. In Área Oftalmológica Avanzada You will find the most qualified specialists to perform a review of the sclera. Get in contact with us!

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The sclera is the white part of the eye that shapes the eyeball. We tell you which parts the form and its associated diseases.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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