Ocular rosacea is inflammation that causes redness, burning and itching of the eyes. For people who have rosacea, a chronic skin condition that affects the face, they are more likely to develop ocular rosacea. Medications and a good eye-care routine can help manage the symptoms, but treatment doesn’t cure ocular rosacea.


Symptoms of ocular rosacea can precede the skin symptoms of rosacea, develop at the same time, develop later or occur on their own. Symptoms may include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Dilated small blood vessels on the white part of the eye that are visible when you look in a mirror
  • Red, swollen eyelids
  • Burning or stinging in the eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Grittiness or feeling of having a foreign body in the eye or eyes
  • Tearing


The exact cause of ocular rosacea, like skin rosacea, is unknown. It may be associated with some of the following factors:

  • Heredity
  • Blocked glands in the eyelids
  • Eyelash mites
  • Environmental factors

In addition to potential causes, there are factors that can aggravate ocular rosacea. These factors include:

  • Hot or spicy foods or beverages
  • Sunlight, wind or temperature extremes
  • Very Active Sports
  • Alcohol
  • Stress, anger or embarrassment


While there is no cure for rosacea, our medical team at the Dry Eye & Ocular Surface Disease Clinic can help control and treat its symptoms.

Treatments include:

  • Antibiotic pills or ointments to treat eye infection
  • Steroid eye drops or ointments to reduce swelling and redness
  • Eyelid Scrubs – keep eyes clean and free of infection
  • Warm Compress

Eyelid hygiene is important for treating rosacea. It should be continued even when symptoms have improved. For more information on rosacea or inflammation, and treatment options, contact us today at the Dry Eye & Ocular Surface Disease Clinic at Vision Source Specialists.