Ocular rosacea is a common inflammatory condition affecting the skin of the eyes. Though the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, researches have shown that it may be caused because of environmental factors such as excessive exposure to the sun. There are no particular tests or methods for diagnosing ocular rosacea. Your physician will likely make a diagnose by examining your eyes and eyelids, your symptoms, the skin of your face and your medical history.
What Is The Best Treatment For Ocular Rosacea?
Usually, ocular rosacea is controlled with over-the-counter medication and home remedies. But these measures don’t cure the condition if it is chronic. You can take some prescribed antibiotics such as minocycline, erythromycin, doxycycline, and tetracycline.
A good eye-care routine is the most solid way to manage your condition. Even after your condition is in control, keep up with the daily routine to avert flare-ups. Following are the tips you can follow:
- Gently wash your eyelids using warm water at least twice a day.
- If your eyes are inflamed, avoid doing the makeup. If you want to do any makeup, choose those products that are non-oily and free of fragrance.
- During any flare-ups, don’t wear contact lenses, especially if your eyes are dry.
- Avoid spicy foods and alcoholic beverages that expand the blood vessels in the face and cause your eyes to flare up.
- Use sunglasses and hats to shield your eyes when you go outside in the sun.
- Keep your eyes hydrated. Keep a bottle of water with you and sip liberally. If you still find your eyes dry, speak to your doctor.(2)
When you are diagnosed with ocular rosacea at an early stage, you can follow a few home remedies such as applying warm compress, cleansing with a gentle eye-cleanser, and using prescribed eye drops to help you relieve from the pain. If your condition is severe, you will have to consult an ophthalmologist. The other treatments include:
Tear Film Supplementation: The fluctuation in the tear film and dry eye syndrome can be treated using artificial tears such as Systane Balance (Alcon), FreshKote (Focus Laboratories), and Soothe XP (Bausch & Lomb) to stabilize the oily layers of the tears. However, the key thing to keep in mind is that generic, regular artificial tears may not always help. You have to look for eye drops recommended by your doctor.
Lid Hygiene: Dirty eyelids can incite ocular rosacea. Cleansing with a mild detergent can be beneficial. A warm compress along with commercially prepared eyelids scrubs are the best way for your lid hygiene.
Lid Hyperthermia: This is a direct application of heat (105-110 degrees) on your inflamed eyes. Although, it is necessary to apply it safely and the heat will lower the thickness of the eyelid gland secretion. Basically, it helps in controlling bacterial growth and thus, preventing the condition to worsen.
Topical Mediations: There are several topical antibiotics available in the chemist to prevent ocular rosacea, but they come with a risk of complications. One of the main meds includes azithromycin (AzaSite). Although, it isn’t FDA –approved, it has shown to improve the symptoms of ocular rosacea.
Supplements: For those with a severe condition of ocular rosacea, doctors recommend fatty acid supplements. The Omega-3 in the fatty acid supplements stabilize the meibomian glands in the eyelids that are affected by rosacea. However, you have to be cautious while taking these supplements and strictly must be used under a doctor’s supervision.
Oral Medications: Some oral meds including minocycline and doxycycline have proven to decrease rosacea symptoms by reducing bacteria’s production of lipases. These are the chemicals that change the oil consistency in the meibomian glands. Oral tetracycline derivatives also produce an anti-inflammatory effect to treat this condition.(1)
If you have ocular rosacea, you need to consult the doctor and follow your treatment plan to manage your symptoms. Keep your appointments and make sure you know what the meds are doing for your condition.
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