Ocular Rosacea Questions Answered (Part I)

Written by on March 13, 2006 in Ocular Rosacea with 12 Comments

The Rosacea Support Resource Pages have been updated to include a new section for Experts’ Comments, including a compilation document of the questions and answers relating to ocular rosacea from the meeting with Dr. Eric Jones, MD of the Devers Eye Institute.

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Read more about: Ocular Rosacea

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

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12 Reader Comments

  1. joanne kreuz says:

    I have occular rosea and was treated with doxycyclene for a number of years. Eventually that drug affected my esophygus and I was immediately taken off of that drug. I now use compresses every night and also use an eye solution with a cotton swab to clean my upper and lower eyelids. Sometimes this condition flares up no matter what I do to where its a constant burning in my eyes and causes me so much discomfort. Any suggestions?

  2. David Pascoe says:

    Hi Joanne,

    These 2 links to interviews might be helpful ;



    and also the ocular rosacea community forum.

    There are more options for sure. Do you a supportive opthamologist as a starting point ?


  3. MT Kaercher says:

    Gosh…what a horrible condition…mine was triggered by menopause! This is a very helpful site.

  4. Christine Curtis says:

    I have been recently diagnosed with ocular rosacea and have been prescribed five different types of eye drops – most of them some type of antibiotic. Nothing has helped. Right now I am using Systane Balance which seems to alleviate some of the burning during the day. Nights are the worst. My eyes run and crust shut. By morning they are on fire and it is very painful to open them. I am apprehensive about starting drug therapy (tetracycline) because these antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad. I can live with this condition, but I am concerned about causing irrepairable damage to my eyes and compromising my vision, which is bad enough to begin with! I have read various articles that say, left untreated, this condition can worsen and even cause blindness! I have a friend that suffers from rosacea of the skin and she has found some relief with flaxseed oil. Has anyone tried this for ocular rosacea? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  5. David Pascoe says:

    Hi Christine,

    Sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time.

    Dr. Jones was asked about nutrition and ocular rosacea above:

    Q: What role do you feel nutrition plays in treating ocular rosacea, and are there any foods to stay away from that could trigger the eyes?

    A: There are studies with just dry eye, where flaxseed oil and omega 3s are quite effective. Foodwise, everyone is individual. There have been some surveys, and everyone was different. Some said spicy foods, others said hot drinks, alcohol, cold drinks. People have to find their individual triggers, I think.

    Doxycycline at a low dose has been shown to be a safe and effective long term treatment for facial and ocular rosacea. It might be worth exploring this with your doctor as well.


  6. Tina says:

    I have rosacea on my face and have been diagnosised with ocular rosacea also. I have extremely dry eyes and use muro ointment every night, if not they burn and hurt when I open my eyes in the mornings. I also am prone to cornea ulcers. My eye doctor treats these with bromday, steroid drops and azacite. He does not know if the cornea ulcers are caused by the ocular rosacea or not. I usually get 3-4 episodes a year. Do you know anything about people with ocular rosacea getting cornea ulcers?

  7. Tina says:

    I’ve recently been diagnosed with ocular rosacea. The rims of my eyes are always red. They tear easily. My eyelids are swollen.Nothing seems to help.
    Years ago I had shingles in my right eye and now I can’t use Systane which I heard could make it worse.
    Is there any help?
    Also, approx. 20 years ago I took Accutane for adult acne.(which totally cleared me)
    Is it possible that the dosing of Accutane many years earlier could be the culprit today with my ocular rosacea?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    p.s. What about wearing eye make-up and mascara? Could this make things worse?

  8. Mary Todd Kaercher says:

    I have ocular rosacea and didn’t have shingles or use Accutane. This is what works for me:TobraDex (prescription I use only when I have flare ups…used it 2 weeks for the first time and then only as needed), hot compresses (I use a clay pack I put in the micro for 1 1/2 min. and cover with a wet linen napkin…hot as you can stand it), eye wash EVERY morning. It’s miserable and these things make it quite liveable.
    I use Smashbox make-up and it’s fine.

  9. Tina says:

    Has anyone heard of “Tea Tree Oil” without alcohol for treatment of rosacea? It can be used on eye lids, face and hair. Please let me know if you’ve tried this and your outcome.
    I’ve read a lot of good thngs about this,medically as well.
    Thanking you in advance.

  10. David Pascoe says:

    Hi Tina,

    Tea Tree Oil is known to kill demodex mites, so is popular because of this. TTO is too hard to be applied neat to the skin, especially for sensitive rosacea skin, and is toxic to the surface of the eye as well. Thus extreme care should be exercised with Tea Tree Oil.


    • Ruth says:

      I started using tea tree oil /mineral oil mixture–20% tea tree/80% mineral oil by volume– about 18 months ago and it has helped a lot, so i think the mites may be my problem. I made some small cloths out of old knit pajamas to apply it with, and just apply it first to my eyelid/eyelash area each night and then go over my eyebrows and rest of my face, too. In the morning I often clean the lid/lash area with OcuSoft baby eye wipes (one wipe can be cut into 12 smaller pieces which are large enough for the job). Then since I I have year round allergies which also affect my eyes, I use the 24 hr. Pataday drops. I was already using Pataday for years before the rosacea diagnosis.

      Reader’s Digest had an article last summer for dry eye–Oddly enough you take a lot of deep breaths (for me 12 at bedtime works) and somehow this triggers something that makes moisture on the eye surface, so you might want to try this. Even if it doesn’t work, the deep breathing is relaxing and good for a person to do. Also it is completely free.

      I had cataract surgery with lens replacement in both eyes, and none of the various eye drops really helped much. As far as Restasis was concerned, I felt like it did no good and actually burned my eyes. I had told the dr. that I had rosacea, but I am not sure I had the ocular at that time, though that may have been part of the problem.

  11. Tina says:

    What does anyone feel about the new possibility that Demodex Mites could be the cause of Rosacea on the face and head? I’m about to go to an expert on this and I will get back to all after my first appointment.

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