About eight years ago, I woke up with a rash on my face. It wasn’t itchy so much, but more burny, like a sunburn. Except that I had not been out in the sun. Fabgrandpa and I were camphosting at Payne Lake Campground in Alabama, in the Talladega National Forest. I had been to a doctor for some other things in Marion, Alabama, so I made an appointment and drove down to see him. His diagnosis was Rosacea. I had never had it before, but the medications he gave me for it worked, and made the rash go away and my face feel better. I never knew, though, that Rosacea can cause eye problems!
For the last three or four months, I have been having a hard time with my eyes. They feel gluey, sticky, and burn. They leak fluid from the outer corners, and form a crust that then feels like I have sticks and stones in them. I have just passed it off as having dry eyes, and have been using eye drops all day long. The eye drops have not helped. Lately, it has been very hard to keep my eyes open. I blink so much, and then my eyes feel tired long before the rest of me does. This morning, I could stand it no longer. I made an appointment with my eye doctor, Dr. Ortiz.
I was of course thinking all of the worst things, like can you have cancer in your eyes, or am I losing my eyesight to my diabetes, or am I allergic to the artificial lenses they put in when I had my cataract surgery. Yes, I am a worrier alright.
When I got to the doctor’s office, the assistant checked my eyes first. He asked me all the questions, then had me read out part of an eye chart. Part of it was blurry, but I could read the part he asked me to read. After he looked into my eyes, Dr. Ortiz came in. Dr. Ortiz used the light scope thing to look deep into the back of my eyes. He asked me if I had any seasonal allergies, which I do, and I told him so. I also told him I have four cats, and that I have Rosacea. Then he said, I could tell you have Rosacea because your face is red.
After the examination, Dr. Ortiz said that Rosacea can cause problems with your eyes. I did not know that. The rash can go all the way up to the bottom eyelid, and into the inside of the eye. Rosacea can cause your eyelids and your eyeball to become inflamed, itch, burn, and leak, just like my eyes have been doing. Then, he put some drops in my eyes that IMMEDIATELY made them feel better. He said they were numbing drops, and would wear off in a few hours. For the first time in months, I could see without blinking, blinking, blinking.
Dr. Ortiz sent two prescriptions to the pharmacy for me. The first one, an eye drop to help clear up my eyes. The second one, a low dose of doxycycline for the Rosacea. The eyedrops have helped a lot with the itchyness already.
If you have Rosacea, and also have itchy, burny eyes, go see your eye doctor! Because, yes, Rosacea can cause eye problems.