The Link Between Dry Eyes and Rosacea

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Rosacea

People suffering from rosacea typically display facial redness on the cheeks, chin, and nose. While virtually anyone can be affected by this inflammatory skin condition, it tends to favor fair-skinned women of middle age. 

A curious aspect of rosacea is that it can sometimes affect a patient’s eyes, and it can occasionally be the first observable symptom of the disease. While not every rosacea sufferer contracts ocular rosacea, it’s common for both skin and eyes to be affected. 

If your skin is affected by rosacea, or if you have dry eye symptoms, a visit to the eye care experts at Accent Vision Specialists in Santa Fe, New Mexico, can help determine if you’ve got ocular rosacea too. While rosacea can’t be cured, there are eye care routines and medications available to help you manage your condition. 

Dry eyes

Dry, irritated eyes are a common problem that virtually everyone experiences from time to time. Some people have more frequent occurrences of symptoms, and dry eye is a chronic condition that affects more and more people in this age of digital information screens. 

Dry eyes are a common symptom of ocular rosacea, though like rosacea itself, the precise reason why this happens isn’t known. While rosacea of the skin affects women more often, developing ocular rosacea is spread more evenly on a gender basis. 

Dry eye is sometimes a misnomer, as you can have wet, watery eyes in response to the condition. Tears are made up of three components, and when your eyes are irritated, the aqueous middle layer may overproduce as a response to this irritation. 

In other cases, your eyes may feel gritty and literally dry. They can be red in appearance and you may feel itching or burning sensations, or sometimes a feeling that you have something in your eyes. 

Ocular rosacea can also produce symptoms like sensitivity to light or blurry vision. Your eyelids may become swollen and red. You may be more vulnerable to eye and eyelid infections such as styes, pink eye, chalazions, or blepharitis. 

Ocular rosacea triggers

Like the skin condition, ocular rosacea occurs in outbreaks and certain factors can act as triggers. These are typically conditions that cause facial flushing in virtually anyone, though those with rosacea suffer longer-lasting effects. 

Common triggers of both types of rosacea include: 

Left untreated, the symptoms of ocular rosacea can affect your corneas, particularly if you become prone to eyelid inflammation. Damage to your corneas could lead to loss of vision. 

If you have rosacea, you have an elevated risk of developing ocular rosacea, even if you don’t currently have symptoms. More frequent eye testing may be advised to catch these symptoms early.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Accent Vision Specialists by calling our office today.

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