Ocular Rosacea


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Studies have shown that over half of all the individuals who suffer from rosacea experience certain manifestations in their eyes. In most cases, the symptoms on the skin precede the ocular symptoms; however it is possible for the symptoms of ocular rosacea to appear before those of the skin.

What are the symptoms of ocular rosacea?

Typically, ocular rosacea causes redness and burning, and may leave the eyes feeling watery and itchy. A common syptom of ocular rosacea is the appearance of scaly crusts on the eyelashes, known clinically as blepharitis. The development of sties may follow, resulting from infections of the eyelash follicles. In the more severe cases of ocular rosacea, you may experience symptoms such as keratitis. This is the inflammation of the cornea and results in blurry vision, severe pain and sensitivity to light (photophobia).

How can ocular rosacea be treated?

Different forms of treatment can be administered for the various different symptoms and signs of ocular rosacea.

  • Blepharitis can be overcome mainly by maintaining high levels of eyelid and eyelash hygiene. This involves the use of a moist and warm wash cloth every morning to gently scrub out any accumulated crusty deposits on the eyelashes. In the case of women, many experts advise that mascara and other related products must be removed thoroughly every night before going to bed.
  • In the case of sties, which are often seen as small red bumps, the use of a hot compress is recommended. This involves the use of a wash cloth soaked in warm water before being placed over the eyes for a period of roughly five minutes. This process should be repeated three to four times a day for optimum results. In some cases, these manifestations may not subside by simply using a hot compress, and would therefore need to be drained by an ophthalmologist.
  • Corneal infections can be treated by the regular application of anti bacterial drops to your eyes. The severity of the infections will determine the dosage of the drops required, and in some cases it may be necessary to use steroids in order to reduce the inflammation of the eyes.

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