For the past couple months, my wife has been having a severe reaction to something when she visits her mothers house. This is the same house she grew up in and we've been visiting for years. Now when she visits one of her eyes always has a severe reaction (I can't remember if it's always the same eye). Within minutes her eye starts to itch and of course she scratches/rubs it. Then within 30-45 mins, it is quite red and starts to swell. Tonight she was there for maybe 90 minutes and she has severe swelling under her eye.
The house is probably 50+ years old and I'm sure is quite dusty. It also seems to have a severe infestation of ladybugs every year. But I imagine it was this way when she was a kid and also the last several years we've visited.
Any thought on the cause? the treatment once it's swollen? and how to prevent future outbreaks?
Hi, welcome to the forum, her symptoms are suggestive of allergic conjunctivitis. It is predominantly seen in young adults. This happens as soon one is exposed to allergen in the form of dust, pollen etc.
She needs to get evaluated clinically as well as certain tests will be help to determine the cause, they are
- Conjunctival scrapings - may be evaluated for the presence of eosinophils.
- Tear film levels of IgE
- Mast cell activity can be measured by immunoassay testing of tears
Usual management consists of
- Basic eye care - should not rub your eyes.
- Treatment of dry eyes- use of artificial tears throughout the day (when exposed) will dilute the allergen.
- Allergen avoidance- You need to find the allergen and you need to avoid further exposure. Keep a diary of all the things you are exposed to rule out the allergens. - Allergy evaluation - You need to consult allergy specialist for evaluation of the allergen by skin testing. A history of concomitant rhinitis, asthma, or systemic allergic will be useful to know the allergen. Take care and regards.
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