Rosacea Keratitis


What is Rosacea Keratitis?

Rosacea keratitis is a chronic skin condition characterized by inflammation and thickening of the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. It is associated with rosacea, a very common chronic and recurring skin condition.

Rosacea keratitis is the leading cause of ocular rosacea and can lead to serious complications that threaten a patient’s vision if not managed properly. Symptoms of rosacea keratitis may include pain, burning, vision loss, and even scarring of the eye. Vision loss is usually progressive, and untreated, could lead to complete blindness.

What Causes Rosacea Keratitis?

The exact cause of rosacea keratitis is unclear, but appears to be linked to inflammation triggered by the rosacea itself. This inflammatory reaction leads to vascularization, or the growth of new blood vessels, which then penetrate the anterior layers of the eye and cause scarring.

Treatment for Rosacea Keratitis

Treatment for rosacea keratitis depends on the severity of the condition and may include any of the following treatments:

  • Topical Medications: Anti-inflammatory medications like corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation.
  • Orbital Irradiation: Radiation therapy can be used to shrink blood vessels and reduce inflammation.
  • Phototherapeutic Mats: Special devices that produce intense light at different wavelengths can be used to reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery: In very rare cases, surgery may be needed to repair scarred tissue.

Complications of Rosacea Keratitis

Without treatment, rosacea keratitis can lead to vision loss, scarring of the cornea, and a weakened immune response. Complications can also include conjunctival scarring, tear duct blockages, and recurrent eye infections.