A recent study by researchers at the University of California, Davis identified the most common eye effects of subtype 4 (ocular) rosacea found by ophthalmologists during patient examinations.1
In the study of 88 ocular rosacea patients, 85 percent had meibomian gland dysfunction. These glands secrete a fatty substance that helps keep the eye from drying out, and plugging of these glands may result in dry eye or styes.
Other common physical effects included tiny visible blood vessels or redness on the eyelid, found in 53 percent of the patients; blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid, found in 44 percent; and bloodshot eyes, seen in 41 percent.
Among more severe potential manifestations of ocular rosacea, corneal scarring was found in 16 percent of the patients and corneal neovascularization (the development of additional blood vessels in the cornea) was found in 11 percent. Both conditions may result in loss of vision or visual acuity.
"Although ocular rosacea is usually an irritating but mild condition that can be treated, without proper care it can become seriously debilitating," said Dr. Mark Mannis, chairman of ophthalmology at the University of California, Davis. Patients who experience signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea should be sure to address them with their physicians.
Ghanem VC, Mehra N, Wong S, Mannis MJ. The prevalence of ocular signs in acne rosacea: comparing patients from ophthalmology and dermatology clinics. Cornea. 2003;22:230-233.