How Common Is Ocular Rosacea Or Is It A Rare Disease?

Ocular rosacea is an inflammatory condition of eyes that often appears as the first sign of rosacea (a common skin condition). It affects eyes and eyelids. It occurs only in adults of middle aged individuals who are between 30 to 50 years. Its exact causes are not clearly understood. However, its risk factors are identified, such as fair skin, being women, alcohol consumption, strong emotions like stress, embarrassment, anger, etc. its symptoms include redness, irritation in the eyes, blurring of vision, and many more.

It can be detected by eye examination, dermoscopy, skin biopsy, or study of conjunctival scrapings. It is treated with antibiotics, cold compressions, ointments, etc.

How Common Is Ocular Rosacea Or Is It A Rare Disease?

Facial Rosacea is a common skin disease that appears as reddish patches with papules and pustules on the face. It affects young and middle-aged women in most cases. It is caused by the inflammation of the sweat glands and hair follicles. Ocular rosacea is a subtype of skin rosacea that involves the eyelids and front of the eyes. In many cases, it is the initial symptom of rosacea. It has been reported that more than 50% of the individuals with rosacea also exhibit the symptoms of Ocular Rosacea.(1)

Ocular rosacea is a common condition observed in people with rosacea. It is not a rare disease. However, eye rosacea can appear without manifestations in the skin. Skin Rosacea is more prevalent in women than men, and ocular rosacea can be seen in both men and women equally. Some studies state that people with rosacea who are prone to blush more easily are at the highest risk to also develop eye symptoms.(3)

Rosacea is a skin condition which is characterized by redness, mid-facial flushing, swelling, prominent vasculature, papules, and pustules. Ocular rosacea, on the other hand, may appear before changes in the skin with a burning or gritty feeling in eyes accompanied by reddening of the eyes and lids. It is observed that over one-third of the ocular rosacea patients develop a reduction in tear production. Sometimes, ocular rosacea is the first sign to appear before the facial type. Both the quality and quantity abnormalities of the tear film contribute to dry eye complaints.(2)

Causes Of Ocular Rosacea

The exact cause of the appearance of Ocular Rosacea is not clear. However, there is some scientific evidence present that establishes the link between small intestinal bacterial organisms or SIBO with this disease. However, Ocular Rosacea is neither an infectious nor communicable disease.(1)

Its risk factors involve-

  • Adolescent people who have a history of too many acne
  • White or fair-skinned people
  • Being a female gender
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Consumption of hot or spicy beverages
  • Strenuous exercises
  • Exposure to sunlight, wind or temperature extremes
  • Hot baths
  • Medications like cortisone creams or drugs used to dilate the blood vessels
  • Strong emotions like anger, stress, anxiety, or embarrassment(3)

Symptoms Of Ocular Rosacea

Signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea, in some cases, precede the skin rosacea or appear at the same time or develop on its own. The severity of symptoms of ocular rosacea and skin rosacea are not always similar. Its symptoms involve-

  • Itching in the eyes
  • Dryness in the eyes
  • Burning or stinging in the eyes
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • A feeling of a foreign body or grittiness in the eye
  • Swelling of eyelids
  • Dilatation of small blood vessels on the white part of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light(3)

Conclusion

Ocular rosacea is a condition represented by redness and swelling of the eyes and eyelids. It is a common condition as it appears in nearly 50% of the cases with skin rosacea. It often seems as initial symptoms of skin rosacea that develop in the face.

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