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Ocular rosacea: an underdiagnosed cause of relapsing conjunctivitis-blepharitis in the elderly
  1. Sergio Umberto De Marchi,
  2. Emanuela Cecchin,
  3. Sergio De Marchi
  1. Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine and Pathology Clinical and Experimental, S. Maria della Misericordia Academic Hospital, University of Udine Medical School, Udine, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Professor Sergio De Marchi, demarchi.sergio{at}


Red eye and relapsing conjunctivitis-blepharitis are among the most common ocular disease in elderly patients. In these cases the search for causes is difficult and frustrating. We report the case of a 79-year-old woman with a long history of red eye and relapsing conjunctivitis-blepharitis caused by ocular rosacea. In this patient the proper diagnosis was performed after 10 years of ocular disease, and repeated evaluations by general practitioners and clinical specialists, only after the appearance of facial signs of erythematotelangiectatic rosacea. Adequate therapy with oral doxycycline led to the improvement of the clinical picture that previously had shown a poor response to several topical treatments. The possibility of ocular rosacea should be considered in evaluating an elderly patient with persistent red eye and relapsing conjunctivitis-blepharitis. Making the proper diagnosis is crucial because ocular rosacea does not respond as expected to topical therapy and may lead to severe corneal involvement.

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