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. About 28% reported meibomian gland dysfunction and 25% had styes or chalazia (red bumps on the eyelid), while 15% experienced conjunctivitis. Fortunately, only 6% reported scarring on the cornea, a severe condition that can cause vision problems.
Medical therapy relieved ocular rosacea signs and symptoms for 19% of sufferers and was somewhat effective for 52%, while 28% noted medical therapy did not help. Treatments used by ocular rosacea patients to provide relief included the use of saline solution or artificial tears by 72%, warm compresses by 67% and baby shampoo on the eyelids by 39%. Other measures included oral antibiotics (37%), antibiotic eyedrops (24%) and antibiotic ointment (23%). Just 5% reported using tacrolimus ointment or eyedrops.