Ocular rosacea is a condition that the general public may confuse for a variety of other eye problems, such as seasonal allergies and dry eye. Once your eye doctor identifies the cause of your symptoms, however, the better your treatment options will be.
What is Ocular Rosacea?
You may have heard of rosacea, which generally causes redness on the cheeks, forehead, and chin. It may look like someone is blushing.
One of several types of rosacea is ocular rosacea, or eye rosacea. Individuals with ocular rosacea may have what look like sties. Their eyes may also be red and irritated, and the eyelids can be swollen.
An estimated 14 million Americans have rosacea of the skin or eyes, but most don’t know they have it because it is easily confused with other conditions.
Causes and Symptoms of Eye Rosacea
The cause of rosacea of the eyes is not completely clear, but research has shown relationships between rosacea and heredity, environmental factors, bacteria, eyelash mites, and blocked eyelid glands.
Some believe that rosacea in general may be caused by a disorder of the neurovascular system or the immune system. Studies have also found a connection between rosacea and serious health conditions such as intestinal diseases and cancer.
Symptoms of eye rosacea can be mild to moderate and may include:
- Dry, itchy, or gritty eyes
- Burning or stinging in the eyes
- Blurred vision
- Swollen eyelids
- Light sensitivity
Today, there is no permanent cure for eye rosacea. However, simple treatments can reduce the itchiness, redness, puffiness, and other symptoms associated with the condition. Remedies include prescription eye drops, antibiotics, and eyelid scrubs.
Another option is artificial tears, although you should speak with one of our eye doctors before choosing a brand. Some eye drops that are made to reduce redness may actually worsen ocular rosacea symptoms.
If you have eye rosacea, you may be able to get relief. Schedule an appointment to see one of our eye doctors in Flint, Oxford, Lapeer, Fenton, or Grand Blanc to determine the best eye care treatment for you.