What Is the Best Treatment for Ocular Rosacea?

Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2021
ocular rosacea treatment
Ocular rosacea has no cure, but the eye condition can be controlled with medications and at-home treatment.

Ocular rosacea is a chronic condition that has no cure, but it can be controlled with medications and at-home care. It is one of the manifestations of the skin condition, rosacea. However, it can occur before skin rosacea develops, or it can occur at the same time. Like skin rosacea, certain treatments can help manage ocular rosacea and keep the condition under control.

No specific treatment for ocular rosacea can be considered the best. Yet, treatment for the eye condition involves practicing good eye care and taking medications as instructed by the doctor. Here are some treatments to alleviate the eye symptoms:


  • Eye drops and ointments that contain steroids
  • Antibiotics in the form of ointments (local application) or oral pills

At-home care

  • Artificial tears: They are available as over-the-counter eye drops and help keep the eyes moist.
  • Eyelid scrub: This involves using certain products or techniques to gently clean the eyes and keep them infection-free following these steps:
    • Use an eye-cleaning product brought from the store or online platforms or a baby soap with warm water to clean your eyes.
    • Use a washcloth to gently pat dry and clean the eyes.
    • Do this two times a day.
  • Warm compress: Apply a warm cloth or pad to your closed eyes for 15 to 20 minutes about five to six times a day to help remove any blockage in the glands of the eyes.
  • Gentle eye massage: Gently massage the eyelids several times during the day. This is also a simple way to unblock the clogged glands.

Supplements that contain fish oil or flaxseeds may help reduce the severity of ocular rosacea. Ask your doctor if you can take them.

What are the signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea?

You may have ocular rosacea if you have the following signs and symptoms:

If the condition has affected the cornea, you may also experience blurred vision. In severe cases, blindness may develop.

How is ocular rosacea diagnosed?

There is no specific diagnostic test or procedure for the diagnosis of ocular rosacea.

Doctors can diagnose the condition by looking at your signs and symptoms, taking your family history and examining your eyes, eyelids and face skin.

What causes ocular rosacea?

The exact causes of ocular rosacea are unknown. However, any of the following factors are speculated to be the cause:

  • Heredity (passed down in families)
  • Something in the environment
  • Eyelash mites (tiny mites that live in or near hair follicles)
  • A condition that swells the blood vessels
  • Blockage in the eye glands
  • Bacterial infection of the digestive tract (Helicobacter pylori)

Your risk of developing ocular rosacea increases if you are a patient of skin rosacea. Also, you are likely to get the condition when aged between 30 to 50 years old. Although skin rosacea affects more women than men, ocular rosacea affects both genders equally.


Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) Symptoms, Causes, Treatments See Slideshow

What triggers ocular rosacea flare-ups?

The signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea may disappear for a while and then come back again. The period when you experience the signs and symptoms is called flare-up and the symptom-free period is called remission.

One or more of the following factors may trigger the flare-ups of ocular rosacea:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Exposure to
    • Sunlight
    • Wind
    • Cold
  • Hot water bath
  • Sauna
  • Hot or spicy food
  • Emotions, such as anger and stress
  • Vigorous exercise, such as long-distance fast running

How to prevent flare-ups of ocular rosacea

Avoiding certain things can help prevent flare-ups of ocular rosacea, such as:

  • Do not use makeup if your eyes are swollen.
  • Do not use skin products on the face that have an oily base or contain fragrance.
  • Do not use contact lenses if your eyes are dry or you experience redness, burning or itching in your eyes.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2021
Mayo Clinic. Ocular Rosacea. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ocular-rosacea/symptoms-causes/syc-20375798

Boyd K. Ocular Rosacea. American Academy of Ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/ocular-rosacea-facts