Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

New Survey Suggests Eye Irritation from Rosacea Often Goes Untreated

A new NRS survey of rosacea patients found that while a majority had experienced eye irritation since being diagnosed with rosacea, most have not been treated for the eye symptoms of ocular rosacea. Ocular rosacea may include dry eye, tearing, burning, swollen eyelids, recurrent styes and potential vision loss from corneal damage.

Eighty-six percent of the 615 rosacea patients who completed the survey said they had experienced watery or bloodshot eyes, and close to 92 percent reported having felt irritation, grittiness or dryness in their eyes. However, 72 percent of the patients said they had never received treatment for ocular rosacea.

“The effects of rosacea on the eyes may often be overlooked because they frequently develop after, and sometimes before, the disorder affects the skin,” said Dr. Marian Macsai, vice chair of ophthalmology at the University of Chicago. “In many cases, ocular rosacea is a mild irritation, but it can potentially become debilitating – including loss of visual acuity – without proper care.”

The majority of the survey respondents said that their eye symptoms began after the facial symptoms of their rosacea. Of those who had been treated for ocular rosacea, 63 percent said that medical therapy improved their eye symptoms. 

If you have rosacea and experience irritation in your eyes, it’s important to talk to your dermatologist – and consider visiting an ophthalmologist for treatment.