Mark (not his real name) couldn't see the whole picture. In fact, he was having trouble seeing at all. His eyes were red and irritated. But he never suspected that this irritation was related in any way to the mysterious redness on his face.
"I woke up one morning and my eyes were sore," Mark said. "It felt like I had something in them that I couldn't get out." Despite the irritation he went to work anyway.
During the day, however, the soreness persisted. "I thought I simply had dust in my eyes," he said. "It got so bad, my boss sent me to the clinic to have my eyes flushed out." That didn't seem to work and the next day Mark's eyes were worse.
"I had to sit in a darkened room all day," he said. "My eyes were extremely sensitive to the light. In fact, I couldn't even tolerate the light from a small television." Then his vision started to blur and his eyes became so painful, he could barely keep them open. After missing several days of work, he made an appointment with an ophthalmologist.
The physician diagnosed Mark's problem as ocular rosacea and gave him oral antibiotics and medicated eye drops, and recommended he massage the eyelids daily in a warm shower. He also suggested he see a dermatologist.
"When he diagnosed my ocular rosacea, he said it looked as though my face was affected by rosacea too," Mark said. "I knew my cheeks were red, but I never thought much about them." A dermatologist confirmed Mark had facial rosacea and prescribed a topical therapy for this aspect of his condition.
Today, not only is the facial redness under control, but Mark's vision has returned to normal and his eyes are no longer red and irritated.
"I can really see clearly now," he said.
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The National Rosacea Society is interested in hearing personal success stories from readers who have been able to improve their lives through effective control of rosacea. In the coming issues of Rosacea Review, we'll feature some of these stories and personal tips. Please mail your success story to Rosacea Review, 196 James St., Barrington, Illinois 60010; e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or FAX to: 847/382-5567.
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