Ocular rosacea signs and symptoms may include itching, burning and stinging; inflamed eyelids and styes; red or bloodshot eyes; a gritty feeling; and visible blood vessels on the eyelids or whites of the eyes. The meibomian glands, which secrete an oil that helps tears keep the eye moistened, may become clogged, causing tears to break down faster and leading to dry eye. As the condition worsens the cornea may become damaged, leading to loss of visual acuity.
A recent NRS survey found that most respondents experience many of the eye signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea. In the survey of 609 rosacea patients, 73% had signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea, including 76% with dry eyes, 64% with a gritty foreign-body sensation or itching, and about half with light sensitivity, burning, or stinging. Forty-six percent reported red or bloodshot eyes, 41% said they had visible blood vessels in their eyes and 43% had watery eyes.
A pair of new studies help establish the relative prevalence of signs and symptoms of the eyes of rosacea patients (ocular rosacea), as well as the importance of medical therapy.
Did you know that rosacea can affect the eyes as well as the skin?
While avoidance of trigger factors, gentle cleansing and a variety of medical therapies are among today’s options for controlling ocular rosacea, continuing research on its pathophysiology is uncovering potential avenues for the development of important new advances in its treatment, according to Dr. Edward Wladis, associate professor and vice-chairman of ophthalmology at Albany Medical College, in a recent article in the medical journal Survey of Ophthalmology.1
A majority of rosacea patients have experienced eye irritation since being diagnosed with rosacea, but most have not been treated for the eye symptoms of ocular rosacea.
A new study found that it might help fight the dry eye symptoms of ocular rosacea.
Two recent small studies on ocular rosacea yielded new findings that help in understanding its manifestations as well as the disease process.
Researchers at Kirikkale University in Turkey found that despite a high incidence of dry eye in individuals with rosacea, corneal and conjunctival sensitivity were not significantly different from those of the eyes of individuals without the disorder. This is the first time to their knowledge that such a study has been conducted.1
For many people, eye irritation isn’t just a symptom of allergy season. It is ocular rosacea, a subtype of the disorder that can potentially be very serious if allowed to become severe.
Although scientific information about ocular rosacea continues to increase, many rosacea patients themselves may fail to recognize their eye symptoms could be related to this disorder and needlessly suffer, especially during harsh weather, according to Dr. Guy Webster, clinical professor of dermatology at Thomas Jefferson Medical School.