Treating Ocular Rosacea

Ocular Rosacea affects the eyes which appear bloodshot, dry and gritty, as if something is in the eye. There may be a stinging, burning and irritated sensation to the eyelids as well as swelling, crusty and flaky skin and sties. It’s only when the cornea of the eye becomes infected that there is a serious risk and it becomes extremely uncomfortable with the feeling of a deep boring pain in the eye.

Ocular Rosacea is a mild and irritating condition. However if left untreated, it can lead to a more severe condition resulting in scarring within the eyelid, vision loss, and potential loss of the eye. So it’s important to identify the problem early and seek treatment in order to minimize the effects.

What are the treatment options?

1. Eye Hygiene 

This involves daily cleansing of the eyelids in order to remove debris and oily secretions and prevent bacterial growth. This can be done by using a cotton-tipped applicator dipped in either plain water or diluted baby shampoo.

2. Eye drops

Using eye drops can be extremely helpful for dry and itchy eyes. It is recommended to use preservative-free eye drops as the drops with preservatives can cause irritation with long-term use, especially when used more than four or five times a day.

3. Warm Compresses

When ocular rosacea flares up a warm compress across the eyes can help reduce any pain or inflammation. The compresses are also useful if the eyes are dry since they improve the flow of tears.

4. Medication

Oral and topical antibiotics from the tetracycline family are the most common and effective medications prescribed to treat ocular rosacea. They have been found to significantly improve symptoms such as dryness, itching and burning. Topical steroids are also prescribed in more serious cases, to treat eye lid problems and to manage any inflammation of the cornea.

5. Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be beneficial in reducing inflammation and reducing the risk of dry eyes. It would, therefore, be a good idea to eat foods rich in Omega 3 oils such as oily fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna), flaxseeds, walnuts and green leafy vegetables. You could also take cod liver oil or omega 3 supplements.

It may be worth taking a multi vitamin and mineral supplement that contains vitamin B, E and Zinc. All these have been found to have properties that maintain healthy skin, prevent skin damage and speed wound healing

Another suggestion is to drink a lot of water to keep hydrated especially if you have a tendency toward dry eyes. Even though there is no evidence related to water consumption and ocular rosacea, drinking more water is good for general health.

It has been found that consuming hot spicy foods and hot food and drinks in general can cause the worsening of ocular rosacea and other rosacea symptoms. It may be worth avoiding these or any other possible trigger factors such as emotional stress, alcohol or too much sun exposure.

These are the options for treating ocular rosacea. I hope the information is helpful to you.