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Crusty eyes is mostly caused by blepharitis.  For people with facial rosacea and ocular rosacea, crusty eyes is a way of life.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition affecting the face. The symptoms are red flushed cheeks, tiny spider veins on the nose and cheeks. Rosacea is a hereditary skin condition that results in a lot of inflammation.

A high percentage of people with facial rosacea will develop ocular rosacea at the same time.

What is ocular rosacea?

 Ocular rosacea can affects the cheeks, chin, and nose, can also the eyes.  

Ocular rosacea is a condition that causes inflammation of the eyes. Burning, itching, and redness are common symptoms for those who suffer from ocular rosacea. Ocular rosacea can occur before other rosacea symptoms develop.

Mainly found in adults between 30 to 50 years of age, this condition seems prevalent in those who blush or flush easily. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for ocular rosacea. Still, the proper treatments can relieve the uncomfortable symptoms. 

Particular medications and a consistent, good eye-care routine can often help control the signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea. 

Symptoms of Ocular Rosacea

Symptoms of facial rosacea often occur before ocular rosacea. Many sufferers do not realize that their uncomfortable eye symptoms are from facial rosacea. Some common symptoms of ocular rosacea include:

  • Red, burning, itchy or watering eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Grittiness or the feeling of having a foreign body in the eye or eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Dilated small blood vessels on the white part of the eye that is visible when you look in a mirror
  • Red, swollen eyelids
  • Recurrent eye or eyelid infections, such as pink eye (conjunctivitis), blepharitis, sties, or chalazia

These are also the same symptoms for chronic dry eyes. A trip to the eye doctors can determine if those dry, burning, itchy, red eyes are from ocular rosacea or other reasons. 

For those diagnosed with skin rosacea, we recommend periodic eye exams to check for ocular rosacea.

Who is at risk for Ocular Rosacea?

The exact cause for ocular rosacea is unknown. Factors linked to ocular rosacea, including:

  • Heredity
  • Eyelash mites
  • Blocked eyelid glands
  • Bacteria or mites (Demodex)
  • Environment

Triggers for Ocular Rosacea

If you suffer from ocular rosacea, several factors can aggravate the condition, such as:

  • Hot or spicy foods or beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Sunlight, wind, or temperature extremes
  • Certain emotions, such as stress, anger, or embarrassment
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Hot baths or saunas

Some people who have ocular rosacea may or may not have skin rosacea. 

The two are not symbiotic. Women and men are equally at risk of developing ocular rosacea. If someone blushes easily, they may be more likely to develop ocular rosacea symptoms. 

Complications of Ocular Rosacea – Crusty Eyes (Blepharitis)

Rosacea and Ocular Rosacea both result in a lot of inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, shuts down tear secretion glands and results in Blepharitis (crusty eyes) and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (clogged Meibomian oil glands- MGD).

Ocular rosacea can lead to corneal complications, inflammation of the eyelids and may ultimately lead to vision loss. Suppose the eyes are dry due to a lack of tears. In that case, other uncomfortable symptoms can surface, such as blepharitis ( crusty eyes).

Blepharitis (crusty eyes)is an inflammation of the eyelids. Both eyelids are affected. The crusty happens at eyelashes line. There are tiny oil glands (meibomian glands) located near the base of the eyelashes. 

These glands produce natural lubricants to thicken tears. When oil glands become clogged, the eyes become red and irritated. Although not contagious, crusty blepharitis eye is challenging to treat. 

Symptoms Shared between Ocular Rosacea and Crusty Eyes (Blepharitis)

Blepharitis shares some common symptoms with ocular rosacea. These include:

  • Foreign body sensation, burning, or stinging eyes
  • Red and swollen eyelids
  • Light sensitivity
  • Itchy eyelids
  • Watery eyes
  • Headaches

In addition to these shared symptoms, crusty eyes (blepharitis) signs can also include:

  • Greasy eyelids
  • Skin flaking around the eyes
  • Crusted eyelashes in the morning
  • Sticking eyelids
  • Abnormally/misdirected eyelash growth
  • Loss of eyelashes

Types of Crusty Eyes (Blepharitis)

Anterior blepharitis is caused by bacteria (staphylococcal blepharitis) or dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows (seborrheic blepharitis). These bacteria are commonly found on the face and eyelids. Still, if they become excessive, or the lid area reacts poorly to their presence, an infection may occur. Less commonly, allergies or a mite infestation of the eyelashes can cause anterior blepharitis.

Posterior blepharitis – (meibomian blepharitis) – creates a favorable environment for bacterial growth. Posterior blepharitis can develop as a result of other skin conditions, such as rosacea and scalp dandruff.

Finding Relief for Ocular Rosacea and Crusty Eyes (Blepharitis)

For people looking for a natural way to control the symptoms of ocular rosacea and crusty blepharitis eyes, TheraLife has an entire line of products that help the body heal the eyes from the inside out.

TheraLife treats crusty eyes right to the source of the problem – chronic dry eyes. The protocol treats dry eyes, crusty eyes (blepharitis), and MGD simultaneously for best results. 

TheraLife promotes producing the body’s natural healing tears once the body can naturally make tears- reducing painful inflammation and dryness. 

Eye drops only mask the problem, medicines can be expensive and ineffective, and surgery can be painful. 

As a chronic dry eye relief leader, TheraLife addresses the root cause of painful eyes with only natural products.

Learn more from TheraLife

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Prevention for Crusty Eyes

In many cases, good hygiene can help control blepharitis. They are frequently washing the scalp and face, using warm compresses to melt the clogging of the oil glands and cleaning the eyelids.

When a bacterial infection is causing or accompanies blepharitis, antibiotics and other medications may be prescribed.


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