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
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
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
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
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.