Although rosacea is primarily known as a skin condition, up to half of rosacea sufferers also experience eye involvement, known as ocular rosacea.
Ocular rosacea causes red, irritated, watery eyes, frequent styes and an irritated, dry or gritty sensation. Conjunctivitis or eyelid cysts may develop in some cases.
The eyes can feel dry, there may be tearing, stinging, a foreign body sensation, sensitivity to light and blurred vision.
Some facts about ocular rosacea:
# Most people experience rosacea on the skin before ocular rosacea.
# Ocular rosacea can be mild, moderate or severe.
# Some have both skin and ocular rosacea at the same time, while some only have eye involvement.
# Rarely, there is a potential for vision loss in some people due to the harmful effects on the eye.
Treatments for ocular rosacea may include artificial tears, a daily, gentle cleansing regimen for the eyes, eyelashes and lids, and sometimes, oral antibiotics.
Those with severe ocular rosacea are referred to an eye specialist. In extremely rare cases, corneal complications may involve the loss of vision.
*There are some conditions that look like rosacea. See your physician or dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.