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Ocular Rosacea

What is Ocular Rosacea?

Ocular Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition of the eyes and eyelids causing dry, red eyes, burning and grittiness with occasional tearing and blurred vision affecting many Americans. It is most common in people ages 30-60 with fair skin and equally common in men and women. It is sometimes associated with Rosacea of the skin of the forehead, nose and cheeks but not always. There is no cure for ocular rosacea, only treatment with which it can be managed and symptoms relieved.

Causes & Exacerbating Factors

Ocular Rosacea is caused by genetics and environmental exposures. A family history of ocular rosacea increases the risk of having it yourself while environmental exposures to items such as caffeine, spicy foods, hot drinks, extreme temperatures, sun exposure, stress and strenuous exercise can make your condition worse.

Maintenance Treatment

Aside from specifically tailored treatment for your condition, all Ocular Rosacea patients are encouraged to comply with these three long-term control treatments:

  • Eyelid hygiene
  • Omega-3 supplementation
  • Environmental exposure avoidance: caffeine, spicy foods, & alcohol

Most Common Symptoms of Ocular Rosacea

  • Dry or red eyes
  • Itchiness or burning
  • Sand or grit-like feeling
  • Blurred vision & tearing
  • Swollen or red eyelids
  • Recurring styes

Grading of Condition & Treatment

Ocular Rosacea has three grades of severity which will be evaluated during your examination and testing. Based on the severity of your condition, a specific treatment protocol best suited for you will be recommended and prescribed.

Mild Ocular Rosacea

Your Ocular Rosacea is in its mildest form. You have some inflammation of the eyelid skin, oil glands of the eyelids, and some redness of the eyelids and surrounding skin. The appropriate treatment protocol involves:

  • Anti-inflammatory eye drops
  • Lubricating tear drops & gels
  • Maintenance treatment of lid hygiene, Omega-3 and environmental exposure avoidance.

Moderate Ocular Rosacea

Your Ocular rosacea has progressed to involve your tear film causing dry eye, redness and possibly a gritty feeling to your eyes. Your cornea may be affected as well. You may also be suffering from recurring styes or eyelid infections. The appropriate treatment protocol involves:

  • Anti-inflammatory eye drops
  • Treatment course of Oracea/Doxycycline Capsules
  • Lubricating tear drops & gels
  • Maintenance treatment of lid hygiene, Omega-3 and environmental exposure avoidance.

Severe Ocular Rosacea

Your Ocular Rosacea has progressed to the most severe form. Aside from eye discomfort, you may already have some permanent damage to your cornea, eye surface or eyelids. The appropriate treatment protocol involves:

  • Anti-inflammatory eye drops
  • Long term treatment with Oracea/Doxycycline Capsules
  • Lubricating tear drops & gels
  • Maintenance treatment of lid hygiene, Omega-3 and environmental exposure avoidance.

Complications of Ocular Rosacea

It is very important for your condition to be diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion to prevent long-term complications, such as:

  • Chronic dry eye
  • Corneal infections & scarring
  • Scarring of the eyelids
  • Lash loss or misdirection
  • Recurring styes
  • Cellulitis of the skin

Eyelid Hygiene

  1. During your shower allow warm water to beat on your closed eyelids for 30 seconds
  2. Using an anti-dandruff shampoo, wash the eyelids and lashes while keeping the shampoo out of your eyes
  3. Rinse away shampoo with warm water. If shampoo enters the eye, rinse with water and then apply tear drops afterwards.

Have you been diagnosed with Rosacea by your Dermatologist?

  • Onset of Ocular Rosacea is often seen before Rosacea of the face.
  • Often people are diagnosed with Rosacea by their dermatologist but never have their chronic eye symptoms connected to the same underlying condition.
  • If you are diagnosed with Rosacea by your dermatologist, you should be evaluated for Ocular Rosacea by an ophthalmologist specializing in this condition.

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