Ocular Rosacea

Ocular rosacea is a chronic inflammatory eye condition. A large percentage of individuals who suffer from skin rosacea will eventually develop ocular rosacea. Symptoms of ocular rosacea vary from patient to patient, but can include eyelid inflammation, swelling, loss of eyelashes, and eye redness.

What is ocular rosacea?

Ocular rosacea is directly linked to skin rosacea. It is a manifestation of skin rosacea that affects the eyes and eyelids. People with ocular rosacea commonly experience issues with irritation of the eyelids and eyes. Many of the symptoms associated with ocular rosacea are caused by obstruction of the oil-producing glands of the eyelids.

Symptoms of ocular rosacea

Symptoms of ocular rosacea may occur on their own or in conjunction with symptoms of skin rosacea.

Signs and symptoms include: 

  • Itchy, dry eyes 
  • Feeling of something stuck in the eyes 
  • Loss of eyelashes 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Inflames, swollen, crusty eyelids 
  • Blurry vision
  • Visible blood vessels in the eyes 
  • Styes
  • Bloodshot eyes

Causes of ocular rosacea

The exact causes of both skin rosacea and ocular rosacea are unknown. Rosacea does tend to run in families and may also be brought on by environmental factors. Many of the symptoms of ocular rosacea are associated with blockage of the oil glands of the eyelids. There are also a number of factors that are known to aggravate the symptoms of skin rosacea and ocular rosacea, they include: 

  • Alcohol 
  • Cigarette smoke 
  • Stress 
  • Use of steroids 
  • Strenuous exercise 
  • Exposure to sunlight 
  • Exposure to extreme cold and heat

Treatment of ocular rosacea

There is no cure for ocular rosacea; therefore, treatment is aimed at managing the symptoms of the condition. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics or steroids to reduce inflammation. Daily cleansing of the eyelids and warm compresses can help to clear obstructions of oil glands on the eyelids. Avoiding rosacea triggers like alcohol and exposure to heat can also help to reduce symptoms.

If you are suffering with symptoms of ocular rosacea, schedule an appointment with your doctor to learn which treatment options may work for you.


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