Red eyes often go hand in hand with red faces for many people with rosacea, as many develop the ocular form of the disorder in addition to facial symptoms. Fortunately, the effects of ocular rosacea can be successfully controlled with medical help and appropriate eye care.
In a recent National Rosacea Society survey, 61 percent of nearly 1,400 respondents said they had suffered eye symptoms such as a watery or bloodshot appearance, a gritty feeling, or burning or itching.
"Ocular rosacea is often overlooked because it may develop separately from the facial signs and symptoms of the disorder," said Dr. Guy Webster, professor of dermatology at Thomas Jefferson University Medical College. "Specific treatment for this condition may be essential, and a daily eye care routine can also reduce discomfort."
Visually, an eye affected by rosacea often appears simply watery or bloodshot. Some patients may feel as though there is something in their eyes, or have a dry, burning or stinging sensation. In severe cases, ocular rosacea may include swollen blood vessels; inflammation of the eyelid, iris or the whites of the eyes; sties or cysts, and in severe cases even loss of vision.
Physicians usually treat ocular rosacea with oral antibiotics and other therapies. In addition, a number of steps can be taken to help soothe and prevent irritation and discomfort.
If you have facial rosacea and are now having problems with your eyes, ask your doctor whether you should see an ophthalmologist.
The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace
consultation with a qualified physician. The Society does not evaluate, endorse or recommend any particular medications, products, equipment or treatments. Rosacea may vary substantially from one patient to another, and treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. For more information, visit About Us.