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Ocular rosacea is a chronic inflammation that affects the eyes and the surrounding skin. It can also extend to your entire face, forehead, cheeks, and chest area. The condition can affect your ocular health, comfort, and appearance. Our optometrist at Desert Eye Clinic in St. George, UT, can help treat ocular rosacea. Keep reading to familiarize yourself with the condition and the treatment methods used.

Symptoms

Symptoms of ocular rosacea can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Swollen, red eyelids
  • Light sensitivity (photophobia)
  • Red, itchy, burning, or watery eyes
  • Dilated small blood vessels on the sclera
  • Grittiness or the feeling of having a foreign item on your eye(s)
  • Eye infections like pink eye (conjunctivitis), blepharitis, and chalazia

When to See Your Eye Doctor

Visit your optometrist as soon as possible, if you experience rosacea symptoms around your eyes. Moreover, remember to visit your eye doctor periodically if you’ve been diagnosed with skin rosacea. If left untreated, ocular rosacea may lead to severe medical complications like blepharitis, or chronic dry eyes, which can damage your cornea permanently.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Ocular rosacea is incurable, but it can be controlled. For skin symptoms, an optometrist can prescribe either a topical skin antibiotic or, in severe cases, an oral antibiotic. Tetracycline (or doxycycline) is an antibiotic that can be prescribed for patients with ocular rosacea.

It possesses both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Oil glands mainly absorb this class of antibiotics. That’s why doxycycline is particularly effective for teen acne, blepharitis, and acne rosacea.

In addition, we use artificial tear-type saline solutions to manage ocular rosacea. The solutions help alleviate some symptoms by keeping your eyes well-moisturized.

We also recommend patients with ocular rosacea make a few lifestyle changes because some activities can aggravate the condition. Activities that worsen ocular rosacea include:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Undergoing emotional and physical stress
  • Consuming spicy or hot foods and beverages
  • Exposing your skin to extremely hot or co

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