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What causes reccuring allergic eye reactions?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3631 Questions
I have reoccuring reactions only in my eyes (both)- 4 times in 1 year. Had allergy tests. Symptoms: both eyes swell then rash. Lasts 2-3 weeks. No nasal congest I have reoccurring eye reactions. I have went for allergy tests for them previous (in the Summer of 2013, see below), but we did not find anything, except an allergy to cats (I do not have cats, and take allergy medication around cats). Since then I have had at least 3 eye reactions (not to cats) but from something unknown that I suspect to be an allergy. 1st reaction - Summer 2013 - symptoms started in the grocery store (went for allergy test after this occurrence - only allergy shown was to cats) 2nd reaction - November 6, 2013 - symptoms started while shopping on Robson Street in vancouver canada 3rd reaction - January 4, 2013 - symptoms came during the night and were continuing in the morning. This is the typical reaction: - My eyes both swell, the skin surrounding my eyes swell very large, to the point where they almost cover my eye. If I take an allergy pill it helps somewhat, but does not reduce or stop the swelling altogether. The cause of the swelling is unknown, and has happened both during the day while out shopping (twice), and at home at night (once, the last time). I do not get any nasal reaction, just the reaction in the eyes. Once the swelling goes down (in 3-4 days), I get a rash around my eyes that stays for about 1-2 weeks. I also get some bumps and slight swelling. During the last occurrences my eyes also swell more at night. The cause of the swelling and rash is unknown at this point. I did not change anything in my makeup or skin care routine during either of these occasions. My food intake is generally healthy, and I cannot think of anything I had out of the ordinary during these occasions. I've attached 6 photos, the first ones, of what the eyes look like today, which is 2 weeks from when the symptoms started. I've also gotten a forehead rash and a rash under my nose this time (which did not happen last time). It is itchy, red and swollen, and also gets more swollen at night. I also forgot to note that yesterday I had blurred vision following a massage. I was laying face down on a massage table for one hour , and my eyes were more swollen following the massage. I also experienced blurred, distorted vision that last approximately 2 hours after where I felt a bit dissy and "off”. My eyes also swelled more during the night. This occurence has been the worst of the last 3 The last 6 photos is of what they look like right in the morning. It was worse than morning than most, although the first few days of the reaction looked similar. Another note: We steam cleaned our carpet on the day of January 4, 2014 when the reaction started. That may also be important to note. We do not have a pet, but there were dogs or cats in our condo with the previous tenants as we found a lot of pet fur in the carpet. .
Posted Sun, 9 Feb 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 5 hours later
Brief Answer: Blood tests needed Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for your query. Based on the symptoms you mention and the appearance I am nearly convinced that the it is an allergic reaction to a allergen specially airborne. If the allergen was amongst food, medications or any other things incontact with the body, could have triggered a generalized response. A localized response in the eye lids and the eyes is most of times due to airborne allergen like animal dander, pollen dust etc. Well, it is very difficult or near impossible to identify the allergen without any clue. I would rather suggest you to confirm that it is allergy for sure and not any autoimmune reaction. To confirm it is due to allergy, I would recommend you to get few blood tests like IgE estimation and Absolute Eosinophil count (AEC). Based on this the allergic reaction and its type can be identified which helps us to place you on right preventive treatment. Search for the allergen must go on and this can be done only by analytical methods rather than blood tests. If any clue is found then specific tests like Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA, or EIA) or Radioallergosorbent test (RAST) can be ordered to confirm the allergen. Hope, I answered your query. Do get the blood tests (IgE and AEC) mentioned above, to be placed on preventive medications. Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes reccuring allergic eye reactions? 15 hours later
Thank you for the answer. My doctor has referred me to an allergy specialist and I will request the blood tests as well. How would you recommend to find the allergen analytically? What wouls be the best steps for this? I'm not sure if I should cut things out, or what to start with. Please advise .
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 4 hours later
Brief Answer: By memory Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for writing back. Its only possible by recalling the memory. The new things you came across that particular day and time. As I said its difficult to near impossible. If a slightest clue to what the allergen is available then the above tests like ELISA can help to confirm it. Wish you god health. Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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