Ocular Rosacea Treatment

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Rosacea is usually not considered to be a dangerous condition as it is basically a common but chronic skin condition. However the development of Ocular Rosacea can be classed as a serious condition that needs to be brought quickly under control as in severe cases, it could lead to the loss of vision.

If you have rosacea and an accompanying problem with your eyes such as irritation in the eyes, light sensitivity, a decrease in visual ability, an obvious inflammation of the lids or conjunctivitis, then you need to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

The main problem with ocular rosacea is the possibility of a secondary infection. A dry environment such as occurs with ocular rosacea provides a good breeding ground for bacteria including staphylococci.

Signs and symptoms of Ocular Rosacea

Statistics tell us that between 50 to 60% of all those with rosacea also have ocular rosacea of which some 20% have the ocular problems before the skin problems themselves. However, some 80% will first develop skin problems on the face typical of rosacea symptoms and then go on to experience ocular problems with signs and symptoms such as:

• A burning and gritty sensation in the eyes.
• Chronically inflamed margins of the eyelids even including scales and crusts.
• Pain and abnormal sensitivity to light (photophobia).
• Blepharitis with burning, itching and irritation of the lids. Also sandy, itchy eyes; red or swollen eyelids; crusty, flaky skin on the eyelids. In severe cases, there may be sties, irritation and inflammation of the cornea or conjunctivitis.
• Keratitis is a more serious further condition and is the term used to cover a range of ocular conditions where there is infection or inflammation of the cornea sometimes resulting in severe eye pain, blurry vision and sensitivity to light.
• Iritis is the inflammation of the iris and symptoms include eye pain, sensitivity to light and blurry vision. This is very similar to conjunctivitis.

How to treat the symptoms of Ocular Rosacea

Obviously, the onset of any of these symptoms will ensure that you visit an ophthalmologist for diagnosis and treatment. Doctors usually treat the eye problems of rosacea with oral antibiotics, particularly tetracycline or doxycycline. Some doctors will recommend cleaning the eyelids gently with diluted baby shampoo or an over the counter eyelid cleaner if infections of the eyelids occur. They also suggest applying just warm compresses several times a day. In severe cases, doctors may prescribe steroid eye drops.

In addition here are some helpful hints for caring for the Ocular Rosacea condition:

• Increase your liquid intake so that you increase the moisture in your eyes. Make sure you drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily and this will ease many of the symptoms of ocular rosacea. Eye cell (and skin) regeneration only takes place through the use of water. It is absolutely essential for new cell regeneration of the eye, skin and all body organs. We cannot over emphasize the importance of an increased water intake.
• The dry eye symptom can also be treated with safe artificial tears or drops (those that do not contain any preservatives) up to 4 times per day.
• A home humidifier is a useful piece of equipment for adding valuable moisture to the air.
• Follow a balanced diet and try to include at least 3 helpings per week of food from the Omega-3 group – oily fish such as pilchards, mackerel or sardines – or you can take an Omega-3 fatty acids supplement on a daily basis.
• Be careful of the makeup you use around your eyes. Eye make up, such as mascara, eye liner or eye shadow, should be replaced every 3 months as these containers can become contaminated with airborne and skin bacteria, and pollutants. Anti-wrinkle creams may have harsh anti-aging ingredients so check on these.

It is not easy when you suffer from ocular rosacea and you will have to persevere with your treatment and with your homecare. Treatments will definitely be more effective the earlier they are started.