Rosacea cannot be cured, but it can usually be treated and controlled. For skin symptoms, doctors usually prescribe either a topical antibiotic (which is applied directly to the skin) or, in more severe cases, an oral antibiotic (taken by mouth). Ocular symptoms usually are treated with oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline or doxycycline, or with prescription eyedrops or ointments containing steroids. Artificial tear-type saline solutions can help to relieve some of the symptoms of ocular rosacea by keeping eyes well moisturized. Some people, however, should avoid using eyedrops specifically meant for clearing up bloodshot eyes, as these eventually can make ocular rosacea symptoms worse.
Doctors recommend that people who develop eyelid infections with rosacea should practice good lid hygiene regularly. One option is a method called eyelid scrubs, in which patients gently scrub their eyelids with baby shampoo mixed with warm water on a clean washcloth. Another option is to use an eyelid cleaning product recommended by your ophthalmologist. Warm cloths or pads should also be applied to the eyes several times a day.
Ocular rosacea, on occasion, may affect eyesight if it is left untreated. Once ocular rosacea is treated and controlled, a patient’s condition generally improves.