Marjorie Pendleton was concerned about her blurry vision. She couldn't see things clearly, so she made an appointment with an eye specialist to get some answers. "The first thing he said to me was, 'How long have you had those red cheeks?'" Pendleton said.
Naturally, she was surprised by the doctor's question. After all, he was an eye doctor. But she had noticed her cheeks were red and flushed lately. She had even developed some pimples. And people had started to notice the change in her complexion. "People would joke, 'Oh, you must be having a hot flash,'" Pendleton said. "It really bothered me."
This association actually isn't unusual, since for many women rosacea's first symptoms appear during menopause.
This day, however, Pendleton was more concerned about her vision. While her eye doctor diagnosed the problem -- cysts on the corneal tissue -- he also diagnosed her rosacea. "I had never heard of the disease before," she said.
Eye specialists frequently identify rosacea when they examine patients. Because ocular rosacea can cause such problems as eye redness, irritation and inflammation, small hard bumps on the eyelids and other problems, many ophthalmologists inspect the entire face for rosacea symptoms during ocular examinations.
Pendleton was given eye drops as well as oral and topical antibiotics for her rosacea. Not only did her eyes improve, but so did her facial complexion. "What a difference treatment has made in my life," she said. "Having red cheeks can be embarrassing, but being faced with having impaired vision is far more serious."