Many people have heard of rosacea that affects the skin, usually the face and chest area, which causes redness and small bumps, but did you know rosacea can affect the eyes too?
When it affects the eyes, it is called ocular rosacea. Ocular rosacea is an inflammatory condition that can affect the eye itself and the eye lids. Ocular rosacea is common in people with skin rosacea but can also affect people with no signs of skin rosacea.
What Causes It?
The definitive cause of ocular rosacea is unknown but may be caused or contributed to by one of the following:
• Blocked meibomian glands (tiny glands located on the upper and lower eye lids)
• Environmental factors
Along with the above, ocular rosacea, like skin rosacea, can be made worse by certain triggers such as alcohol, being in the sun, stress, hot environments, and certain medications to name but a few. If you do suffer from ocular rosacea it is good to know what makes it worse for you, so you can try to avoid them where possible.
What Are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of ocular rosacea can include:
• Eye redness
• Itchy eyes
• Light sensitivity
• Dry eyes
• Burning eyes
• Foreign body sensation
• Excessive tearing
• Red eye lids
• Swollen eye lids
• Prone to styes along the eye lids
What Is the Treatment?
The treatment of ocular rosacea will depend on the severity of the condition but is normally controlled with medication and at-home treatments. Medications that help to control the condition can include topical and/or oral antibiotics to help with the inflammation, and if the eyes are dry then artificial tears are usually advised.
At-home treatments can include doing daily warm eye compresses to help keep the meibomian glands unblocked, following eye lid hygiene such as using eye lid wipes, and avoiding any known triggers.
Before starting any treatment make sure you get advice from an ophthalmologist or eye clinic and follow the guidance of your specialist.
Author: Samer Hamada is a distinguished consultant ophthalmologist and cornea surgeon performing eye surgeries at his practice, Eye Clinic London. With nearly two decades’ experience, Mr. Hamada is recognised as a leading expert in the field of cataract, refractive lens exchange (RLE) and corneal surgeries.
Please call 0800 197 8808 for friendly advice and information.