Ocular Rosacea: Understanding the Symptoms and Best Treatment Options

Published on
March 10, 2023

Rosacea is a skin condition that affects many people. While it is commonly found on the face, rosacea can also affect the eyes and cause symptoms such as itchiness, redness, tearing, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and more. In this blog, we will discuss the best treatment options for ocular rosacea and how you can manage this condition effectively.

Tip #1: Avoid Your Triggers

Rosacea has certain triggers that can cause a flare-up of symptoms. Some common triggers include spicy foods, UV light exposure, dairy products, alcohol, exercise, emotional stress, hot beverages, and heat in general. Medications and higher doses of Vitamin B6 and B12 can also be triggers. The key to managing ocular rosacea is to identify and avoid your triggers as much as possible.

Tip #2: Manage Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a condition where the eyelids become inflamed due to a buildup of microorganisms, bad skin oils, and inflammation. To manage blepharitis, you can use warm compresses on the eyelids and perform eyelid scrubs with a foaming cleanser that contains tea tree oil. The warm compresses can help treat the oil glands and improve oil production, while the tea tree oil can help get rid of Demodex mites that are a major problem for people with rosacea.

Tip #3: Use Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 supplements are highly debated in the field of eye care, but a 2013 study showed that patients taking 1.5 grams of Omega-3 supplements showed significant improvement in meibomian gland dysfunction after one and three months. It is important to note that the supplement used in this study also contained other vitamins and minerals.

Tip #4: Control Inflammation

Inflammation plays a major role in ocular rosacea, so it is important to control it. Two options for controlling inflammation are topical steroids and topical cyclosporine. Topical steroids are great for flare-ups, while cyclosporine is a safer long-term option. Talk to your doctor about which option is best for you.

Tip #5: Consider Oral Medications

Oral medications such as doxycycline, minocycline, and azithromycin have all shown promising results in the treatment of rosacea and ocular rosacea. These medications work by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinases and cathelicidin polypeptide, which are significant in rosacea. They can reduce bacteria on the surface of the eyelids and improve the oil quality of the meibomian glands.

Tip #6: Consider IPL Procedure

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a procedure that uses light to coagulate irregular blood vessels on the eyelids and reduce inflammation. It also helps liquefy the thickened oils of the oil glands and improve oil production. IPL is a great option for ocular rosacea and dry eye treatment, but it is not offered at every eye clinic and can be expensive.

Tip #7: Consider Amniotic Membranes

In the event of significant inflammation that is not being treated with other methods, our optometrists may recommend amniotic membranes, which are extremely effective at promoting cellular rejuvenation and combat inflammation on the corneal surface. 

Tip #8: Ask Our Doctor About Brimonidine Eye Drops

Brimonidine eye drops have not been specifically studied for ocular rosacea, but they have shown to be effective in reducing redness and improving blood flow to the eyes. You can talk to our doctor about using Brimonidine eye drops as part of your treatment plan.

Remember, it is always important to consult with our eye doctor before starting any new treatment or making changes to your current routine. We will be able to assess your individual case and recommend the best treatment options for you.

Find Relief from Ocular Rosacea: Schedule an Appointment Today

If you are living with ocular rosacea, don't hesitate to seek help from our eye doctor. We can help you manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life. Schedule an appointment today by calling (360) 491-2121 and take the first step towards better eye health. We hope this information has been helpful for you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to our team at American Family Vision Clinic. We are always here to help!

Patients searching for advanced medical eye care visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of medical eye care services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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