Ocular Rosacea Treatment, Triggers, Diet, Causes, Definition, and Cure

What is Ocular Rosacea?

Everyone has probably heard the term ‘rosacea' at least once or twice in his or her lives. Rosacea, in this case, is one that deals with the face; however, most people don't know the term can also apply to a condition which targets the eyes. Burning, itching, and redness could sometimes be symptoms of ocular rosacea.

This condition is a type of inflammation which typically corresponds with chronic skin rosacea. In certain instances itchy, red eyes are the initial sign that an individual has ocular rosacea.

Whilst there isn’t a cure available for rosacea, great eye care and eyelid hygiene practices could help manage it and reduce the symptoms.

What causes Ocular Rosacea?

Ocular rosacea is typically caused by environmental and genetic factors. The majority of the causes below could also exacerbate ocular rosacea.

Ocular rosacea triggers

  • Spicy foods
  • Hot caffeinated drinks
  • Extremely cold or hot temperatures
  • Anger and stress
  • UV sunlight
  • Vigorous exercise
  • Saunas or hot baths
  • Corticosteroids
  • Poor eating habits (processed foods, low vegetable intake)
  • Poor hygiene

Ocular rosacea symptoms and signs

A glaring redness around the eye is the initial symptom associated with ocular rosacea. People with ocular rosacea might notice a dilation of blood vessels in their eyes and on the surface of their eyelids, causing them to become extremely visible. This condition could also make the eyes itchy and dry.

Burning and stinging of the eyes are common. Whilst discomfort, dry eyes, and cosmetic defects are some of the ocular rosacea’s most widespread symptoms, the condition sometimes affects vision due to dry eyes.  Sufferers might have blurred vision or increased sensitivity to light. Ocular rosacea is also capable of causing the eyelids to swell, and it can lead to meibomian gland dysfunction due to insufficient oil glands.

Other symptoms of ocular rosacea include grittiness or foreign body sensation in the eyes, tearing, and stinging eyes.

How is ocular rosacea diagnosed?

It is not necessarily a given that facial rosacea sufferers are going to develop ocular rosacea. Whilst these conditions have similarities, how severe they get is independent of each other. Nevertheless, should any of the symptoms associated with ocular rosacea manifest, especially swollen eyelids, blurred vision, redness or sore eyes, it is imperative to schedule an appointment with an optometrist. The optometrist is able to have a look at your eyes and offer a diagnosis.

Ocular Rosacea natural treatment and cure

Ocular rosacea can be managed by keeping to a strict eye care routine. This routine should be kept up even when the condition seems to clear up. This aids in the prevention of flare-ups. The tips below can also be used to help manage the condition:

  • Wash face and eyelid area with an all natural, tea tree oil based soap. This will help with soothing the redness and itching as opposed to chemically ridden soaps. Tea tree oil is also great for demodex eyelid mites, which are common in those with ocular rosacea and rosacea in general.
  • Ensure eyelids are cleaned twice in a day: a cotton round/ball should be sprayed with a hypochlorous acid eyelid cleanser, such as Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser, and then moved across the eyelid to eradicate oil and debris from the area. Also, spray this hypochlorous acid eyelid cleanser on areas of rosacea on the skin to help alleviate symptoms.
  • A warm compress should be applied: blocked glands can be loosened by applying a warm compress eye mask, such as that from Heyedrate, that has been microwaved for 20 seconds. Allow it to sit on closed eyes for 10 to 20 minutes, reheating as needed.
  • Makeup should be avoided: the moment a flare-up happens, makeup should be avoided, as well as any facial products which consist of skin irritants like fragrances. The majority of people discover that the moment the flare-ups subside, they are able to begin using their regular makeup. Also use an all natural makeup remover, not the typical ones in stores that are filled with chemicals.
  • Stick to glasses instead of contact lenses: the moment the eyes get irritated, contact lenses should be avoided. Once the episode subsides you can return to wearing contact lenses. Also consider switching to daily disposable contact lenses, which you throw away every day.
  • Sun exposure should be limited: sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat should be used to limit exposure to sunlight. UV rays are a common rosacea trigger. It is also imperative to stay away from sun tanning beds.
  • Consume omega-3 fatty acids: various studies have shown that flaxseed oil and fish oil consumption could help lower rosacea flare-ups. Certain grocery stores and health food outlets sell whole flaxseed, omega-3 supplement capsules or flaxseed oil. Check out the Heyedrate Omega-3 for Eye Health to get in your omegas!
  • Make use of artificial tears: artificial tears can help alleviate the dryness in one’s eyes. Nevertheless, it is better to first consult an optometrist about the kind of eye drops to be used and the frequency of their use. These won’t necessary help with the treatment of your ocular rosacea, but may provide symptom relief for a few minutes to hours.

Best eye drops for treating Ocular Rosacea

It’s ideal to note that eye drops do not aid in treating the condition directly, but instead, they will help in symptom relief. Enhancing the hygiene of your eyelids will aid in relief and treatment of ocular rosacea more than eye drops will.

We recommend to our patients that they use a hypochlorous acid eyelid cleanser, which they spray on the eyelids twice daily, but can be used up to four times daily. This hypochlorous cleanser can also be applied to any other areas of rosacea for relief of itchy and red skin. 

Here are a few hypochlorous acid eyelid cleansers:

Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser - Available over-the-counter. Click here to check price and to purchase.

Avenova - Available by prescription. Check price here on GoodRx.

Acuicyn - Available by prescription.  Check price here on GoodRx.

Ocular rosacea diet

  • Water: a lot of water should be drunk per day. This amount should be measured as it is specific to every individual, but usually half your bodyweight in ounces of water.  Or just shoot for the typical eight glasses per day (we do 15).
  • Fatty Acids: Fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which have unique anti-inflammatory properties. These fatty acids are present in fish oils, borage and black currant seed oil.  Click here to shop Omega-3 supplements.
  • Avoid spicy, hot foods: for numerous people, consuming spicy, hot food is capable of triggering ocular rosacea, so it is best to avoid eating these sorts of food.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol consumption should be limited, especially as it can be a potential ocular rosacea trigger. It is best to limit consumption to a couple drinks each week if consumption of alcohol triggers rosacea flare-ups.

The simple fact is there is NO CURE for the condition, even if there are remission periods as flare-ups might occur. It helps to know that even flare-ups happen; there are numerous varied remedies that can be applied to help ease the situation.

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Dr. Jenna Zigler, Eye Love

Drs. Travis and Jenna Zigler



I’ve been recently diagnosed with Ocular Rosacea and prescribed 3 months on Doxycycline and ointment! I typically eat healthy and prefer not taking drugs; so disappointed and looking into getting a second opinion. I’ve given up coffee and wine and recently read that beets, spinach, onions… can aggravate dry eye symptoms. My ophthalmologist found my lower eyelid glands are closed. Using drops and/or tear gel daily. All advise welcome!!! Thank you!!!!


Hey Linda,

Here is the link to one of Dr. Jenna’s recipes.


There are more in Dr. Travis’ book!


Linda S Rich

Do you have a specific recipe for green smoothie? If so, please share. Thank you, Linda

Linda S Rich

Hi Dr. Zigler and Dr. Zigler,
This is my first time tuning in to your website! I am so grateful for finding you. I have been suffering from Ocular Rosacea for quite a while, but only was diagnosed a year ago. It has been very frustrating in finding helpful information. I went the route of eye drops with prednisone and the use of antibiotics, but as I have come to find out, it is not a permanent solution and one I cannot use indefinitely. I am very grateful for your information and to find a community where others are experiencing the same thing. I look forward to trying your products, and hoping that they will be helpful. Thank you!


Very interesting. I have been diagnosed with blefarospasm (probably spelt wrong), dry eye just to name a few things. It took a couple of years for the diagnosis. In 2013 I had surgery where they went in and shortened the muscle that shuts the upper lid. It helps some but not great. The botox injections that they refined never worked for more than 2 weeks, so I quit taking them almost 2 years ago. Now I have a rash but it is around both newlines in the cheek area. I have purchased the soap and an using Omega Vitamins.

Denise Clark

I just found out I have Ocular Rosacea very very very painful. It has taken them 3 months to figure out what it was.

teresa barbuto

Think my mom has this, she has been to 12 eye doctors we need help we are so desperate for help

Dr. Jenna Zigler

Hey Janet! Yes, you can have both OR and Sjogren’s. If you also had Sjogren’s syndrome you would likely have a very dry mouth as well as very dry eyes.
One Love, Dr. Jenna Zigler


Hi! I was diagnosed with OR many years ago. I went to my doctor who couldn’t figure it out so then I went to an eye doctor who couldn’t figure it out either. Finally I went to a dermatologist and he was the one who diagnosed me. I do not have rosacea on my face at all but I do have severe RA with lots of inflammation. Now my eyes are bothering me again and it seems different so I’m wondering if it might be Sojourns disease which I guess is also autoimmune. My eyes run, itch, feel dry, blurry and sometimes like something is in them. Can you have both ocular rosacea and Sojourns disease? Really driving. me crazy. Thank you for your help!

Vicki Kerr

I have rosacea and have the symptoms of Ocular rosacea. The symptom that is bothering me the most is my right eye is pouring tears. My ophthalmologist placed plugs in my eyes 10 years ago and he’s thinking the one in the right eye is due to the plug and it must come out and said it may require surgery. I had gone to another ophthalmologist just to check my eyes and he saw the rosacea and said that I do have it in my eyes as well. The one I have always gone to is the one that put the plugs in. I’m confused due to the different opinions and scared about the surgery. This is my first time watching your video and I love it and feel your products could really help me! Thank you!

Vicki Kincaid

Just diagnosed in December 2018 by dermatologist for Ocular Rosea told me to see my optometrist asap! My optometrist has now overwhelmed me with meds and eye drops but no education or theory behind it all. Some docs just look and throw you meds….I’m Starting research now on my own and out of all the items read and videos, your information and education seems to stick out the most to me. It’s all presented very well and has given me the confidence to be more engaged with my overall health.

ashley v.

Hey Maria. I would definitely recommend our spray as well as our tea tree oil soap! Links are below. Also check out the blog Drs. Jenna and Travis wrote discussing why they don’t recommend using baby shampoo. Best of luck.

spray: https://eyelovethesun.com/products/heyedrate-for-blepharitis

soap: https://eyelovethesun.com/products/tea-tree-oil-soap

baby shampoo blog: https://eyelovethesun.com/pages/washing-eyes-with-baby-shampoo-is-baby-shampoo-safe-for-blepharitis


I was diagnosed with dry eye in oct 2018, I have been so depressed with all this. all my doctor did was put me right on xiidra. I do have face Rosacea and I don’t know if I have eye Rosacea my eye lid is always swallow and it looks bruised all the time I also have a glare n bluriness in my eye everyday sometimes worse then other I also wash my eyelids twice a day with baby shampoo just really don’t know where to go from here!

Reida Gillespie

I have Ocular Rosacea. Was diagnosed last year and I also have Blapharitis. Knoxville, TN

Esther king

Your comments have given me hope that I can be better. Eyes have been burning, tearing, more sensitive to sunlight, vision changes, blurred vision. Heading to eye dr. Tomorrow. Should have gone sooner! Thx for information! Autoimmune runs in my family. When I have a severe bout, I can’t stand light of any kind. Don’t know what a green smoothie is, but will try to find it. Again, thank you.

Bonnie Morrow

I enjoyed your video. I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with my face and eyes for 3 months. I think I may have Ocular Rosea. I have seen three Dermatologist and none have told me for sur that I even have rosea. I am going to try to see my eye doctor soon. Left eye is very red and painful. Thank you, Bonnie

Susan Rubeo

I have been dealing with this condition for 2 years now off & on Doxicycline ointments & drops, first time Imhave read some helpful information on condition& will be trying some of your product
Many Thanks for Help
Susan Rubeo


Love your blogs! Suffering from dry eyes for many years and have found the info you provide very helpful.

Cristina w.

Floridian fighting rosacea for about 10 yrs. Found your video very informative and will try your eyelash spray.


Jean Schirmer

Can I be put on a mailing list I’m just starting a antibiotic for a month. I’ve been treated for dry eye conjunctivitus. Everything irritated my eyes worse now my doctor is looking at the ocular rose. Cant spell. Sorry. Not sure what the plan will be in a month after the antibiotics but I would love to stay in contact with you for possible products and support.


I have ocular rosacea. Would love to find a doctor that understands. Very difficult to live with. Temp changes are a big one for me. No warm compresses.

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