AMONG DERMATOLOGISTS, ocular rosacea may be designated as an orphan disease. It generally goes unrecognized, undiagnosed, undertreated, and underreported.
Many years ago, Duke-Elder,1 the doyen of academic ophthalmology, opined that ocular rosacea was a common disease but could offer no solid figures regarding its prevalence. Dermatologists and ophthalmologists record widely differing estimates. There are obvious reasons for these discrepancies. Dermatologists and ophthalmologists do not see the same patients; both suffer from monocular vision. Ophthalmologists focus on the eyes and dermatologists look at the skin. Systematic epidemiologic studies are totally lacking. Much disagreement would disappear if a dermatologist-ophthalmologist duo would combine to examine the same patients, recruited from their separate practices.
Then, too, the subjective symptoms of ocular rosacea, which are easily overlooked, are more common than the objective signs. They include nonspecific, rather common complaints, such as stinging, burning, tearing, photophobia, scratchiness, and feelings of foreign material in the
Kligman AM. Ocular RosaceaCurrent Concepts and Therapy. Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(1):89-90. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890370095014