Eyes improvement – they don’t hurt anymore

Written by on February 14, 2008 with 2 Comments

Hi all,

I haven’t written forever bc I’ve been very busy. But, I do want to share something with this wonderful group.  My eyes have gotten a lot better (It has taken about 6 months for them to get better, but they have). Here is what worked for me. And its not guaranteed to work for all, I imagine, but maybe it will help some. I will also describe the symptoms I had as that may make a difference to people.


  • inflamed lid margins (people would ask if I had allergies)
  • red eyes
  • eyes HURT and sometimes stung
  • eyes felt swollen
  • gummy feeling
  • sometimes felt like there was a foreign object in there.

What helped:

  • wash eyelids with dillute solution (50/50) or Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo and warm water.  Its cheap, and for me, it works and doesn’t irritate either my face or eyelids. I do this RELIGIOUSLY AT NIGHT AND IN THE MORNING, EACH AND EVERY DAY. If I get lazy, my eyes start getting bad again.  Also, after I wash my eyes with the solution, I rinse them with just plain warm water. I press my warm (clean) hands against my eyes for a couple of minutes as well. This, I have heard, helps loosen the crud that builds up.
  • when I get flareups I use an erythromycin antibiotic gel on the lid margins overnight (there is a special gel your ophthalmologist can prescribe. Mine is some generic made by Fougera).  It clears up the inflammation in 1-2 days. (I had tried a sulfate gel before with awful results.  My eyelids got purple. It was horrible, so I chucked that ASAP)
  • I was on oral erythromycin for about a month and a half. I believe it helped a lot. Tetracycline, the drug of choice for rosacea, did nothing for me. So, I insisted my doc put me on erythro.  And, I was right.
  • I put Refresh preservative drops in my eyes at night and in the morning.
  • I gently swab the inner and outer corner of my eyelids each night with cotton swabs to remove any “crusts” that may have built up.
  • I don’t wear any eye makeup. Yes, I look “bland” without it, but you know what, I would rather look “bland” than be in excruciating pain.  And, I think that when I wear eye makeup little bits fall of and irritate my eyes and I pay for it the next day with red eyes and swollen eyelids.
  • don’t rub your eyes. No matter what. If they feel bad, run to the bathroom, wash your hands, and rinse your eyelids with some warm water.  Put in Refresh drops. Don’t rub. If it doesn’t get better, try to accept that you are having a bad eye day, and that tomorrow will hopefully be better. Put in the gel at night.
  • Don’t ever touch your eyes with dirty hands. If you think you have something in there, use a clean cotton swab to get it out of the corner of the eye. (This seems like kindergarten advice, but when my eyes hurt like hell, i used to rub them all the time..the impulse to rub and poke got worse as my anxiety level rose, so actually these last two pieces of advice were actually pretty difficult for me to follow).

That’s all folks. cheap, simple and not a magic “make it all go away” potion, but it has really improved my quality of life. I hope that it helps some of you. Be patient. It took me about 6 months of using this regimen for my eyes to get better. Especially important is, don’t get lazy on washing your eyes with Baby shampoo. Its’ easy to get lazy once your eyes start improving, but you pay for it a couple of weeks later.


I’m not cured, I still have both facial and ocular rosacea, BUT (a) my eyes don’t hurt anymore (b) they look close to normal (though I still have some telegencias) and most of the time I can’t even feel that I have ocular rosacea. My ophthalmologist agrees that they have gotten better and she also says that my tear film is better than before. (I think she feels grateful for this because when they were bad, I used to run to her crying practically every week crazed with pain) I feel lucky for this and I hope that it continues. My eyes have been good like this for several months now and I feel I owe it to my regimen. Before they hurt so bad that it would trigger migraine headaches and my head and jaw would hurt.

Take care, and a wonderful holiday season to all of you. I couldn’t have made it without the support of all the great people in this group.  So, to all a sincere and heartfelt thanks.


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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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2 Reader Comments

  1. Debbie says:

    Well, I have just been diagnosed with ocular rosacea…and I am horrified! What is this? How do you cure it? Is this a chronic problem I have to deal with for the rest of my life????

    I was also horrified to hear my eye doctor say to use johnson’s baby shampoo to wash out my eyes!! What…shampoo in my eyes!!! He didn’t explain why it would work…just said it would and sent me on my way. So, I’m a bit releived to see that it has worked for you.

    I called my dermatologist, too…and he didn’t explain to me what rosacea is or how it can affect you. He said to wash my eyes with shampoo, too.

    I think that the medical community doesn’t really want to help you find solutions to problems…No one wants to discuss preventitive medicine, they just want to give you a precription and send you away.

  2. queta says:

    Glad you’re feeling better but you might also want to try an OTC eye drop with chondroitin sulfate. (Ask your doc first, but it has been used successfully for ocular rosacea because it is a mast cell inhibitor.

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