BACKGROUND: Scleritis is a chronic inflammation of the scleral coat of the eye. Although the clinical manifestations of scleritis can follow a benign clinical course, the more serious forms may lead to vision loss and even enucleation of the eye. METHODS: A case is presented of a 57-year-old woman with a diagnosis of nodular scleritis and attendant ocular manifestations. RESULTS: Scleritis affects females slightly more frequently than males, and is most commonly found in patients who are 40 to 60 years of age. Patients who are symptomatic in only one eye typically have bilateral involvement within 5 years. More importantly, 50% of patients with scleritis have an underlying systemic disorder, which makes a detailed medical history and complete physical examination a crucial part of the treatment regimen. CONCLUSION: Recognizing the disease and determining the possible underlying systemic etiologies as early as possible will elucidate the appropriate treatment options and help suppress the potentially devastating effects of scleritis.