Overcoming Ocular Rosacea


Ocular rosacea is one of the many types of rosacea. It affects the eyes and eyelids and the major symptoms include redness, watering, irritation and a burning sensation.

Rosacea is normally a skin condition that is characterized by a persistent reddening of the skin around the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. However, in more severe cases it can cause facial disfiguration, in the form of a swelling of the nose and blood vessels in the face and cause severe eye problems.

It is very important for you to consult a doctor if you begin to show symptoms of rosacea, especially ocular rosacea, because if it is left untreated it can cause damage to the cornea and vision loss.

Identifying the Types of Rosacea

Over the past several years, doctors have narrowed down the many symptoms that rosacea patients have exhibited into four subtypes that you can see below.

Subtype 1: Excessive facial redness

Subtype 2: Appearance of bumps and pimples

Subtype 3: Thickening of skin

Subtype 4: Irritation in the eye

The first subtype, commonly known as erethyma, is the most common and is considered the earliest stage of rosacea. Most people begin to develop this redness after the age of 30. Subtype 2 can occur at the same time as subtype 1, but often develops at a later stage.

Many people confuse this subtype with acne, but the key difference is that with rosacea there are no blackheads present and there is a distinct burning sensation. Subtype 3 is considered one of the more severe stages and consists of distinct thickening and enlargement of the area around the nose, known as rhinophyma.

This is a result of excess tissue. Subtype 4 is also considered an advanced stage of rosacea and is perhaps the most detrimental to everyday life. In some cases the eyes become more sensitive to light and you can develop blurry vision.

The eyelids swell up and styes, small red bumps, form around the outside of the lid. Care must be taken with styes. If they burst the puss can cause further infection. There is no set pattern to how these symptoms develop so it is best to consult a doctor as early as possible to prevent the onset of the more serious subtypes.

Medical Treatment for Ocular Rosacea

Scientists have not yet been able to identify what causes rosacea so unfortunately treatments are focused towards symptomatic control rather than an actual cure. In the case of subtype 4 there is a simple strategy outlined below.

Hot Compresses

Mild Cleaning Solution

Artificial Tears

Antibiotics and Topical Creams


The first step in alleviating the symptoms of ocular rosacea is good eyelid hygiene. Applying hot compresses to the area around the eyelid can liquify the hardened oils that were secreted from the glands around the eye. To help clear the oils from your eyes use a mild cleaning solution. For the purpose of keeping the eyes clean and moist, you should use artificial tears throughout the day. If the irritation persists or grows worse you will be prescribed with oral antibiotics. The most common is tetracycline or doxycycline.

Certain topical creams, such as azithromycin, have also been known to help. However, if the case becomes too severe you will have to undergo surgery. In most surgeries the amniotic membrane, which has anti-inflammatory properties, is used for reconstructing the surface of the cornea.

Natural Treatment for Ocular Rosacea

Subtype 4 of Rosacea is a very serious stage in the disease’s development and so there are no natural remedies for rosacea in this case.

However, there are several supplements, listed below, that can help in your present treatment.



Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Lots of Water

Both ginger and turmeric have proven anti-inflammatory qualities that could help with eye irritation. Omega-3, which also has anti-inflammatory properties, and omega-6 fatty acids have shown promise in treating subtype 4 of rosacea. They are most commonly found in fish oil and flaxseed. If you choose to take one of these as a supplement, flaxseed is the best choice because it contains both types of acid while fish oil only contains the omega-3. It is also wise to increase your liquid intake to at least eight glasses of water a day to help keep your eyes properly moisturized.

One of the primary dangers behind subtype 4 is a secondary infection so it is essential to keep your eyes as clean as possible. While these are good examples of how to treat rosacea you should seek guidance from a doctor on whether these supplements are right for you and what the proper dosage should be.

Ocular rosacea is a very serious disease and should not be ignored. Even though there is no cure for this disease, it is possible to identify ocular rosacea in its early stages and force it into remission with the right mix of medical treatments and natural supplements.


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