Rosacea can cause vision problems

Woman looking into mirror, finger near eyelidI have Rosacea. It doesn’t bother me a lot on my face, but it has been very hard on my eyes. Rosacea flares make it harder for me to keep my strabismus under control. Since April is Rosacea Awareness Month, I wanted to share some facts about Rosacea.

Rosacea affects the eyes in 50-60% of those with the disease. People with fair skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair are more likely to develop Rosacea. Approximately 14 million Americans suffer from Rosacea. Usually Rosacea first appears in adults between 30 and 60 years of age, but it can affect children and people with any skin type.

Ruddiness of the face is the most obvious symptom. When people see me without makeup, they often say, “You’ve been out in the sun, haven’t you?” The redness is on my neck and the “T” zone of my face (forehead, nose, cheeks, chin). My face is very dry.

The skin around my eyes is not ruddy. My eyes have round, light-skinned circles around them. But my eyelids swell, and the skin on the underneath side of my eyelids (inside my eyes) is more red than normal. When my eyelids are swollen, I sometimes notice a margin of redness just above my upper eyelashes. My eyes are extremely dry.

I think others notice the ruddiness of my face more than I do. I don’t feel the characteristic blushing that many feel. So far, I’ve not had the pimples and tiny red blood vessels that form lines on the face of some with Rosacea. But my Rosacea has been diagnosed as Rosacea by three different doctors (dermatologist, ophthalmologist, and optometrist). My hairdresser diagnosed it as Rosacea also, and I’m sure some would argue that a hairdresser’s diagnosis is the most accurate of all!

Many people suffer psychological distress from Rosacea. Strabismus also can cause social difficulties. I’ve not really had too much stress over my appearance, probably because I’ve never thought it was that noticeable. I think I’ve been more concerned with trying to see. I guess I’m fortunate that others are probably more troubled by my appearance than I am!

Below are some links to information about Rosacea. If you have any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor. The earlier treatment is begun, the better the outcome, I am told.

RosaceaNet: What is Rosacea

Experts Push for Rosacea Awareness

Photo credit: Melvin Piro

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