The term “rosacea” is often associated with a chronic skin condition which results in redness (and sometimes small, pus-filled bumps) on the face. Ocular rosacea is a connected condition wherein the eye becomes red and inflamed. It usually impacts patients who also suffer from the facial variety of rosacea, though ocular rosacea sometimes manifests before the facial type.
Below, we have answered a few frequently asked questions about ocular rosacea.
What causes ocular rosacea?
Ocular rosacea usually affects people who have facial rosacea. The cause of both conditions remains unknown. In part, the cause may be hereditary. There have also been findings to suggest bacteria, blocked glands in the eyelids, and environmental factors cause facial and ocular rosacea.
While the causes of the condition are largely uncertain, doctors have pinpointed the factors that can aggravate ocular rosacea or cause flare-ups. These factors include eating hot or spicy foods, drinking alcoholic beverages, excessive exposure to sunlight or wind, high stress, strenuous exercise, and extreme temperatures.
What are the symptoms of ocular rosacea?
The primary symptom of ocular rosacea is noticeable redness in and around the eye area. If you have ocular rosacea, you might notice that the blood vessels in your eyes have dilated and become more visible. The condition can also cause eyes to feel dry and itchy. Stinging and burning in the eyes is common.
While discomfort and cosmetic defects and dry eyes are the most frequently experienced symptoms of ocular rosacea, the condition can sometimes impact vision. You might experience blurred vision, or notice that your eyes are more sensitive to light than they have been in the past. Ocular rosacea can also cause swelling of the eyelids, which can cause dryness of the eys.
How is ocular rosacea diagnosed?
Just because you have severe facial rosacea doesn’t mean you will develop severe ocular rosacea. While these conditions are connected, their levels of severity can vary independently. However, if you start to notice any of the symptoms mentioned above—particularly redness or soreness of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids, or blurred vision—you should make an appointment to see an optometrist. Your eye doctor will be able to check your eyes and form a diagnosis.
How is ocular rosacea treated?
If you have ocular rosacea, your local optometrist should be able to treat the condition. Treatment methods can include eyedrops, protective ocular lenses, and reduction in environmental factors that may aggravate the issue.
What are ocular migraines?
An ocular migraine is a migraine headache accompanied by temporary vision loss in one eye. Ocular migraines typically last for less than an hour. Patients with ocular rosacea may be at higher risk for migraines, though not necessarily ocular migraines.
Is ocular rosacea an autoimmune disease?
Rosacea has been linked to several autoimmune diseases. As previously mentioned, no one is quite sure of the causes behind this condition. There is no explicit proof that rosacea is an autoimmune disease or that it is caused by one.
Is there a cure for ocular rosacea?
Unfortunately, since doctors are unsure of the causes of ocular rosacea, there is no cure for the condition. With that said, your optometrist should be able to help you find relief from painful or distracting symptoms.
What is ocular hypertension?
Ocular hypertension is a condition in which the pressure in your eyes is higher than the average. This condition can be extremely dangerous if left untreated, damaging the optic nerve and causing glaucoma or permanent vision loss. Ocular hypertension is not explicitly linked to ocular rosacea or ocular migraines. However, if you are suffering any type of eye condition, your optometrist will likely check to see if you have ocular hypertension.
Contact your eye specialist near you for more information about Ocular Rosacea.