No specific tests or procedures are used for diagnosing ocular rosacea. Instead, your doctor will likely make a diagnosis based on your symptoms, your medical history, and an examination of your eyes and eyelids, and the skin of your face.
Ocular rosacea can usually be controlled with medication and home eye care. But these steps don't cure the condition, which often remains chronic.
Your doctor may prescribe temporary use of oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline, doxycycline, erythromycin and minocycline. For severe disease, you may need to take an antibiotic for a longer time.
Lifestyle and home remedies
You can help manage your ocular rosacea by following a good eye care routine. Keep up this routine even when your condition clears up to help prevent flare-ups. These tips may help.
- Keep your eyelids clean by gently washing them at least twice a day with warm water or a product your doctor recommends.
- Avoid makeup if your eyes are inflamed. When you're able to wear makeup, choose types that are nonoily (noncomedogenic) and free of fragrance.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses during flare-ups, especially if your symptoms include dry eyes.
- Prevent flare-ups by avoiding things that trigger or worsen your rosacea or ocular rosacea, if possible. Items that tend to dilate blood vessels in the face include hot, spicy foods and alcoholic beverages.
- Use artificial tears to relieve dryness. Ask your doctor for guidance.
Preparing for your appointment
You're likely to first see your family doctor or primary care provider. You may be referred to an eye specialist, such as an optometrist or an ophthalmologist.
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
- List any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- If you've received a diagnosis of rosacea, be prepared to discuss your treatment history.
- List key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- List questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions for your doctor can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important. For ocular rosacea, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Do I need tests to confirm the diagnosis?
- Is my condition temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- I have other medical conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Do I need to follow any restrictions?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions that arise during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Have you noticed any changes in your skin, such as redness, bumps or flushing?
- Have you noticed any changes in vision?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to trigger or worsen your symptoms?
June 25, 2020
- Dinulos JGH. Acne, rosacea, and related disorders. Habif's Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 12, 2020.
- Salmon JF. Cornea. In: Kanski's Clinical Ophthalmology: A Systematic Approach. 9th ed. Elsevier; 2020. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 12, 2020.
- Ocular rosacea. The College of Optometrists. https://www.college-optometrists.org/guidance/clinical-management-guidelines/ocular-rosacea.html. Accessed May 12, 2020.
- Del Rosso JQ, et al. Update on the management of rosacea from the American Acne & Rosacea Society (AARS). The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2019;12:17.
- Ocular rosacea. American Academy of Ophthalmology. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/ocular-rosacea-facts. Accessed May 12, 2020.
- Patel DR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. May 18, 2020.