Ocular Rosacea

1 What is Ocular Rosacea?

Ocular rosacea is the itching, burning and redness of eyes caused by an inflammation. It is typical in people with rosacea or a chronic condition of the skin.

The condition usually affects adults from 30 to 50 years of age and tend to develop in people who flush and blush easily.

Signs and symptoms can be controlled with medication, although there’s no long-term treatment that can totally cure it.

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2 Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea are:

  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye itchiness
  • Grittiness or the sensation of having something in the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Red, swollen eyelids
  • Watery eyes

The symptoms may occur prior to the symptoms of skin rosacea; but may also take place at the same time, later, or develop on their own. If you have skin rosacea, going to a regular eye exam is necessary. See a doctor immediately if you are experiencing these signs and symptoms.

3 Causes

Like skin rosacea, the exact cause of ocular rosacea is unknown. However, experts consider a number of factors that may cause it. These include:

  • Heredity
  • Bacterial involvement
  • Environmental factors
  • Eyelash mites
  • Blocked eyelid glands

While the  exact cause are not entirely known, there are some known factors that can make the condition worse. These are:

  • Eating or drinking hot and spicy foods and drinks
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Natural extremities, such as wind, sunlight, temperature
  • Certain emotions like anger, stress, or embarrassment
  • Doing heavy exercises
  • Taking a hot bath
  • Certain medications that can dilate the blood vessels

4 Making a Diagnosis

Your doctor may refer you to an ophthalmologist or a specialist in eye conditions to receive a diagnosis of ocular rosacea. It will help to list down all the important information that may be involved to your condition.

Write down the symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them.

Also, make a list of the medications you have taken to ease the symptoms, if there are any. Other medications, supplements, and vitamins that you are taking should be disclosed, as well.

You may also want to make a list of the questions you want to ask your doctor.

While there are no specific procedures that can be done to diagnose ocular rosacea, the doctor is likely to base the diagnosis on your symptoms, medical history, and physical examination.

5 Treatment

The treatment course for ocular rosacea does not usually cure the eye condition completely. However, the medications, combined with proper eye care, can help ease the symptoms.

The condition is chronic, therefore, your medications are typically temporary cure.

Oral antibiotics such as doxycycline, erythromycin, minocycline, and tetracycline may be prescribed.

6 Lifestyle and Coping

Coping with ocular rosacea and managing it is simple if you follow a proper eye-care routine.

To prevent flare-ups, follow these simple tips:

  • Keep the eyelids clean. Wash them with warm water at least two times a day. Your doctor may advise washing them with a special solution.
  • Avoid wearing makeup, especially when the eyes are inflamed. Avoid eye makeup every time your eyes are inflamed to keep them from getting worse. Also, choose products that are noncomedogenic and fragrance-free.
  • Refrain from wearing contact lenses when symptoms are present. If your eyes are inflamed, watery, or most particularly, dry, avoid wearing contacts. Doing so can make the things worse or even trigger other symptoms to manifest.
  • If possible, stop eating hot and spicy foods and drinking alcoholic beverages. Consuming these foods and beverages can cause the blood vessels to dilate, thus causing the flare-ups.
  • Use eye drops or artificial tears. To relieve dryness, you may use artificial tears. Ask your doctor about it.
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