Treatment of eye Rosacea is complex and requires patient compliance and a lot of patience.
The basic treatment includes:
Eye lid hygiene: It is essential to wash the eyes and eyelids with warm water at least twice a day. All the scales, oil and dirt particles around the eye lids should be gently removed with a moist Q tip.
Rubbing: One should avoid the temptation to rub or scrub the eyes. A gentle wash and padding with a towel will suffice.
Shampoo: The face and eyes should be washed gently in diluted baby shampoo. The type of shampoo used is not critical as long as it is dilute and used with care.
Antibiotics: Various antibiotics ointments have been suggested in the treatment of oral Rosacea. The antibiotic ointment is gently applied on the eye lids and around the eyes. This may have to be continued until the symptoms clear.
Lubrication: The major problem with eye Rosacea is the dry eye sensation. This should be treated with the liberal use of artificial tears, at least 4-5 times a day.
Humidification: To ensure that the surrounding environment is wet, use a humidifier at home. This will help reduce the eye dryness
Moist compress: When at home, cool wet compresses can be used as needed. This helps to decrease the eye symptoms.
Surgery: To prevent the tears from draining away, the tear ducts can be blocked. The tear ducts can be closed off either temporarily or a permanent fashion. The procedures are easily done by an eye doctor.
Antibiotics: Because Rosacea is believed to be infectious, some physicians provide long term use of the tetracyclines. These drugs have been shown to decrease the symptoms of eye Rosacea within 4-6 weeks. Since the tetracyclines have minor side effects, follow up with a physician is necessary.
Metronidazole: This antibacterial is one of the best agents for the treatment of eye Rosacea. The drug is used topically on the eyes and rapidly resolves the symptoms.
To prevent the condition from flaring up, self care maneuvers may help decrease the severity of the eye symptoms. These include:
- avoid hot food and spices
- avoid hot beverages
- avoid excessive sun
- avoid alcohol
- avoid stress
- apply warm compress
- be gentle on the eyes
In the majority of cases, the above treatments help to reduce the symptoms in most individuals. Follow up with an eye doctor is a must