Eye sensitivities in general affect a lot of people. I have experienced sensitivities ever since I can remember and it can be a pain. There are a lot of different symptoms you can have which fall under general eye issues like blurriness, grittiness, dryness, light sensitivity, redness, watery you name it.
Look, the reality is that most of us will experience some sort of eye sensitivities at some point in life. It’s pretty normal for instance in winter due to the cold, windy air or if you experience allergies like hay fever. If you find you experience these symptoms once in a blue moon then I wouldn’t stress too much.For some, eye irritation doesn’t just happen every now and again. This is when you should consider if there is an underlying cause and discuss with a doctor or ophthalmologist.
What does “dry eyes” mean?
A common complaint with the eyes is dryness. Dry eyes happen when the eyes don’t make enough tears to stay moist. If this happens regularly you could suffer from dry eye, a condition all of its own. This can make your eyes feel very uncomfortable and also cause issues with your vision. The lack of lubrication in the eyes can also lead to inflammation and damage to the eye surface.Along with the dry feeling, you might notice a burning or stinging as well. And it can happen more often under certain conditions like being in an airplane, in an air conditioned office or from looking at your laptop screen for too long.
Dry eyes symptoms:
- A scratchy or gritty feeling in the eyes
- Stinging or burning
- Watering or blurriness
- Goo or crust in the eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Feeling tired
How to treat dry eyes
If your dry eyes aren’t linked to an underlying condition like blepharitis or ocular rosacea, you’re likely to get instructions from your regular doctor on the best course of action. One route, and a common one is over the counter or artificial tears.
These can help put the moisture back in your eyes without a prescription if it’s not too serious. If your doctor thinks necessary, you can also be offered a prescription. This could be for cyclosporine or lifitegrast (brand name Restasis and Xiidra), which both also help your eyes to produce more tears. In more serious cases tear duct plugs or surgery might be discussed.
Make sure to clean your eyelids everyday, if you are using a computer or laptop try taking more breaks to rest your eyes and limit screen time. If you are someone who wears contact lenses, take them out regularly and wear glasses to allow your eyes to rest. Along with lifestyle changes such as avoiding smoke and wind, drinking more water.
What is ocular rosacea?
It’s good to know the difference between dry eyes in general and ocular rosacea. You could well suffer with dry eyes and it not be in any way rosacea related. But if you’re already rosacea prone, there’s a good chance your dry eyes do have something to do with your rosacea. It’s pretty common if you do have rosacea to have issues with your eyes too. This happens when the part of rosacea starts to interfere with your eyelids, leading to problems with the eyes in general. As the symptoms can overlap, ocular rosacea is often misinterpreted as dry eyes.
The thing is, sometimes ocular rosacea can show itself before a wider diagnosis of the condition or any skin issues. Ocular symptoms are present in as much as of those with rosacea and as mentioned can show before or in the absence of other classic symptoms. Ocular rosacea can sometimes stem from chronic blepharitis, which is an inflammatory condition caused by bacteria and other debris in the eyelashes.It’s important to know whether your eye sensitivities are rosacea related or not. This can be determined by a doctor, dermatologist or ophthalmologist. If ocular rosacea is left untreated and it becomes severe, it can threaten your sight.
Symptoms of ocular rosaceaThe symptoms of ocular rosacea are very similar to regular symptoms of eye discomfort and issues. This is why it’s best to chat to a medical professional if you find you’re regularly experiencing any of the following:
- Eye dryness
- Itchy eyes
- Burning sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Watery or bloodshot appearance
- A gritty sensation
- Swollen eyelids
Causes of ocular rosaceaAs with rosacea as a whole, the exact cause of ocular rosacea isn’t clear. From studies done on the condition, it can come down to a number of things like:
- Environmental factors
- Demodex mites
- Blocked eyelid glands
- Common rosacea triggers
Treatments of ocular rosacea
The type of treatment you should have is usually determined by the severity of your symptoms. Again, always best to check in with your doctor/dermatologist/ophthalmologist on the best route for you. As with the other subtypes of rosacea, it’s a very individual thing which has no one size fits all answer. An important factor here is to make sure any underlying inflammation of the skin is controlled.
For mild cases you mightn’t need any medication at all. Warm compresses a few times a day as well as gently cleansing your eyelid with baby shampoo may be all that’s necessary. It also doesn’t hurt to add eye drops for some extra moisture and relief in and around the eyes.
For moderate or severe cases, the chances are that you’ll be given prescription drops, some topical medications and/or a course of antibiotics. There’s also a new procedure which unblocks the meibomian glands with a thin probe that has improved symptoms without long term complications in a small test group.
If you suffer with your eyes in any way, it’s always good to have them looked at.
Even if it is nothing, better to rule out conditions like blepharitis or ocular rosacea. And if it turns out to be one of those - the earlier you know, the better!
All Finca Skin Organics products are made using a minimal, plant-based ingredients list and formulated by me, a rosacea sufferer.
The Finca Skin Organics range has undergone a Harley Street clinical study. After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin significantly improved.
When in doubt, always refer to your doctor or dermatologist as the condition differs for everyone. It’s always best to talk to your dermatologist first and work out your treatment plan together.
If you have any queries regarding your rosacea or how to use our products get in contact with us, we'd love to hear from you.
With love from Ireland,
*Clinical evaluation by Harley St. dermatologists on 23 subjects after 8 weeks of use.