Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that is so easy to spot, we all know what it is. Typically beginning after the age of 30, Rosacea causes a flaming redness to appear on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead. Sometimes, the ruddiness even spreads to the neck, chest, scalp, and ears. Marked by bumps, swellings, acne and tortuous blood vessels, Rosacea majorly impacts the self-confidence of sufferers and can become a cause of social embarrassment whenever the symptoms flare up.
But “Ocular Rosacea”? It is an add-on symptom of the same condition that even sufferers of the ailment are rarely aware of.
Ocular Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory eye condition that mostly affects fair-skinned people of both sexes between the ages of 30 and 60. While the eyes look bloodshot and watery, patients feel a sand-in-the-eye sensation that may be accompanied by dryness and burning. The disease is often genetic, getting passed on from generation to generation. The symptoms look quite similar to conjunctivitis or pink eye, but it is not contagious. You cannot catch Ocular Rosacea by coming in contact with an infected person.
“The effects of Rosacea on the eyes may easily be overlooked because they often develop after, and sometimes before, the disorder affects the skin,” says Dr. Bryan Sires, associate professor and acting chair of ophthalmology at the University of Washington. “In most cases, Ocular Rosacea is a mild, irritating condition, but it can develop into a permanently debilitating one — including loss of vision — without proper care.”
When left untreated, patients with severe Ocular Rosacea can sustain scarring inside the eyelid, vision loss from corneal ulcers and potentially even loss of the eye if an ulcer progresses beyond the cornea.
But the good news is this: Although as many as 58 percents of Rosacea patients also get these ocular symptoms, the condition can be easily controlled if diagnosed and treated well in time.
How To Manage Mild Cases Of Ocular Rosacea At Home
- Use warm compresses on the eyelids several times a day.
- Be vigilant about eyelid hygiene. Clean the outer surface gently with a Q-tip and watered down baby shampoo, paying special attention to the roots of the lashes. Some opticians suggest doing the same thing with an anti-dandruff shampoo or just plain water.
- Anti-inflammatory eye drops, lubricating drop or gels also give some relief from gritty eyes and other irritations caused by Ocular Rosacea.
If the symptoms persevere, it is imperative that you consult a doctor for doxycycline capsules or whatever treatment regimen is prescribed for you.