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What Triggers Ocular Rosacea? How To Reduce Eye Issues When You Have Rosacea

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Rosacea can already be a frustrating condition to deal with when you are constantly concerned about redness, blemishes, and flushing on your face. And, for some with rosacea, they can experience uncomfortable eye symptoms as well.

Eye symptoms that flare up due to rosacea are often referred to as ocular rosacea, or type 4 rosacea. Ocular rosacea can occur along with skin rosacea symptoms, or you may experience only eye symptoms, or only skin symptoms.

If you think that you are experiencing eye symptoms from your rosacea it is a good idea to speak with a doctor about treatment options to help get some relief and reduce the incidence of flare-ups.

Below, we will cover some of the signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea, the potential triggers for ocular rosacea, discuss how common ocular rosacea is for those with rosacea, and give you some tips to help avoid or reduce eye symptoms triggered by rosacea.

What are the signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea?

The signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea can often be dismissed as general irritation, allergies, or a reaction to make-up. So, it is important to know that ocular rosacea is very common and can occur in 58%-72% of patients with rosacea, according to one study.

Ocular rosacea is normally just a mild annoyance. But, if ocular rosacea is left untreated, severe eye symptoms can develop including corneal involvement which can lead to vision loss.

Some of the common signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea to look out for include:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Teary eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Burning or stinging
  • The feeling of having sand or grittiness in your eyes
  • Easily watering when exposed to cold air
  • Crusting on the eyelids or lashes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Often getting styes or pink eye (conjunctivitis)

What are the common treatment options for ocular rosacea?

There is currently no cure for rosacea or ocular rosacea, but if you are experiencing these symptoms your doctor may recommend techniques or treatments to help reduce flare-ups or make them less frequent.

Sometimes, steroid eyedrop or ointments may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation, oral antibiotics may be used for severe ocular symptoms. These measures are normally only used temporarily to control flare-ups.

Non-prescription recommendations may include using artificial tears to make the eyes feel more comfortable, or regular gentle washing of the eyelids and surrounding eye areas.

What can trigger ocular rosacea?

Many of the same things that can trigger skin rosacea symptoms can also lead to the development of eye involvement.

Some of the most common ocular rosacea triggers may include:

  • Spicy food
  • Food or drinks that are hot in temperature
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Cheese
  • Hot baths or saunas
  • Strong sunlight or wind
  • Very cold or hot weather
  • Strong emotions like stress, embarrassment, anxiety, or anger
  • Strenuous exercise

8 ways to avoid or reduce ocular rosacea symptoms

  1. Regularly cleanse the eyelid and eyelash area with a gentle cleanser.

  1. Stay consistent with any rosacea treatments you have been prescribed.

  1. Know your rosacea triggers and avoid them as much as possible.

  1. Use a warm compress on the eye when symptoms are flaring up.

  1. Avoid wearing eye make-up or using contact lenses when your eyes are irritated.

  1. Use only gentle non-comedogenic eye make-up that is still within date.

  1. Use artificial tears as needed for dryness (but avoid drops for eye redness as those may worsen symptoms).

  1. Wear glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes from the elements or bright lights.

Strut Health customized prescription rosacea formulations

Here at Strut, we make getting customized prescription rosacea creams easy. We offer rosacea formulations for your face to help target the redness and flushing from rosacea, as well as helping to reduce the small blemishes commonly found with rosacea. Our formulations can be customized to your specific rosacea needs and may help you keep your skin symptoms in check or calm flare-ups when they do occur.

We don’t make medications that can go in your eye to specifically handle ocular rosacea symptoms. But, we do carry innovative topical rosacea formulations that may be able to reduce skin symptoms that tend to spiral into eye involvement if left untreated.

Using science-backed ingredients like Azelaic Acid, Metronidazole, Ivermectin, and Oxymetazoline can help you reign in your rosacea symptoms with a multi-ingredient cream made specifically for you.

If you are interested in seeing if a topical rosacea formula can help you calm your skin rosacea symptoms, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today.

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