The rosacea results in the appearance of more or less permanent redness on the face. In some cases, it can cause eye symptoms, the mechanisms and causes of which are not well known.
The most common signs of ocular rosacea are:
- Chronic itching and redness
- Dry eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Inflammation of the eyelid (blepharitis)
- Irritation and the sensation of having a foreign body in the eye
- Vision disturbances(1)
Who Should I See For Ocular Rosacea?
If you have rosacea on the eye, you may need to see a specialist. Ophthalmologists are eye physicians, taking care of diseases related to the eye. You should discuss any medication with your ophthalmologist, as some medications that relieve dryness and itching can actually aggravate rosacea in the eyes.
You may also go to your family doctor or primary care provider first. After the initial diagnosis, he or she may refer you to an eye disease specialist.(2)
Is There A Surgery For Ocular Rosacea?
As we know, there is no known cure for this disease, so the basis of treatment for ocular rosacea is to know the risk factors and triggers of the symptoms of this disease well so that once identified, they can be avoided in everyday life, as a preventive measure. There are measures and care that are important to consider relieving the symptoms of ocular rosacea and preventing them from getting worse.
Artificial tears are prescribed to keep the eye well lubricated. Whenever possible, makeup should be avoided, as it is irritating to the affected area, and if you use it, remove it as soon as possible. In case of pain and swelling in the eyes, warm compresses can be used to help relieve these symptoms.
As already mentioned, there is a special cure for the disease or treatment procedure to revert the condition. So, there is no surgical intervention to cure ocular rosacea. But, other eye surgeries such as LASEK or cataract surgery can be made if these symptoms are co-associated with ocular rosacea and the surgery can offer relief from other symptoms. Another surgical intervention is the use of scarred gland opening, corneal surgery to stop penetration or ulceration.
If you have ocular rosacea, there are steps you can take to control it. Living a lifestyle against ocular rosacea means not letting rosacea get out of hand by ignoring it.(5)
Ocular Rosacea Is A Fairly Common Disease With Rosacea
In 30% of cases with rosacea, eye symptoms occur at the same time as skin damage. About 10% of people with rosacea have only eye symptoms. Both eyes are often affected, or sometimes alternately.
Symptoms usually occur:
- After the appearance of redness of the skin,
- At the same time with the skin redness,
- Before the appearance of redness of the skin (20% of cases): this makes diagnosis difficult.
The cause of rosacea in all its forms is not yet known, so we say that it is idiopathic, although it is recognized that there is a possible hereditary basis for people developing this disease. It is known that although symptoms may start slightly without affecting daily life, over the years the trend is that they tend to get worse with the age of the patient.(1)(3)
Symptoms Of Ocular Rosacea
Symptoms of ocular rosacea are those caused by the involvement of blood vessels and may include:
- A sensation of irritation in the eyes.
- Decreased visual acuity and blurred vision.
- Dry eyes.
- Eye irritation and inflammation.
- Itching and eye pain.
- Photosensitivity (sensitivity to light).
- Skin redness, often the face is affected most
- Visualization of dilated blood vessels.(4)
Treat Ocular Rosacea To Avoid Complications
Ocular rosacea can cause loss of vision. Ocular rosacea is not the only complication of rosacea: it alone can cause serious problems, such as loss of vision and blurry vision. Correct and timely treatment is necessary to prevent the worsening of this disease over time.
As soon as ocular symptoms appear, it is imperative to consult an ophthalmologist who can prescribe:
- Antibiotics (tetracycline) to reduce symptoms
- Topical care with antibiotic ointment
- Artificial tears to decrease the feeling of dryness and irritation.(4)(5)
- Vieira AC, Mannis MJ. Ocular rosacea: common and commonly missed. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 2013;69(6):S36-S41.
- Arman A, Demirseren DD, Takmaz T. Treatment of ocular rosacea: comparative study of topical cyclosporine and oral doxycycline. International journal of ophthalmology. 2015;8(3):544.
- Vieira ACC, Höfling-Lima AL, Mannis MJ. Ocular rosacea: a review. Arquivos brasileiros de oftalmologia. 2012;75(5):363-369.
- Webster GF, Durrani K, Suchecki J. Ocular rosacea, psoriasis, and lichen planus. Clinics in dermatology. 2016;34(2):146-150.
- Wladis EJ, Adam AP. Treatment of ocular rosacea. Survey of ophthalmology. 2018;63(3):340-346.