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Eye allergy to open fires
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Eye allergy to open fires

I have had eczema most of my like I am now 41 and have had eye allergy for the past 4 years.  When I go to my parents home they have open fires and in the house all the time.  In my house I use central heating and have only a gas fire - there is no smoke.  On the day two of my visit I wake up with my eyes all red and bloodshot, then they start to get a bit sore, on day three they are very itchy around the eye lash upper and lower, then when I come back to my own house it takes normally 5 days to get them back to normal.  I have been attending a dermatologist, and eye specialist, and allergy specialist.  The best results I have had so far is from the allergy specialist who said it was like eczema on my eyes but this only happens if I rub them then the eczema comes.  I have been on every antihistamine tables, 4 different eye drops even eye drops to keep them moisture as I was told I had dry eyes two years ago but the last eye specialist did a test with paper and told me I did not have dry eyes.  Now I am using sodium cromoglicate 2% drops (useless) systane eye drops, Hylo Forte eye drops, Lacri-Lube at night.  For the eczema I use protoipic 3 & 1% which is excellent - I have used numerous steroid creams with results in the skin getting very soft so this is the best option for eczema on your face or around you eyes.  
I also believe I have allergy to the open fire or to smoke as they only flare up when I am around open fires overnight, does this happen to anyone else out there - the doctors don't seem to believe me but I have at this stage kept a diary and know that this is the problem, I have got patch tests done but there does not seem to be one for smoke.  Hope the Protopic will help someone out there but if you could help me can I get an injection something to take before I go to the house overnight I am so sick and tired of this.  Thank you .  
5 Comments Post a Comment
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233488_tn?1310696703
If you are only symptomatic at your parents and no other time then the problem is in the environment of their home. Since you've seen multiple physicians and not much is helping consider the obvious.  When you visit your parents stay in a motel/hotel. Stay out of that house. Your parents should understand.

JCH MD
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your answer but it is not as simple as that the reason I have to go home is to stay with my mum as she is not well at the moment.  I do get this problem if I stay overnight in homes that have open fires where you can smell the smoke - even when someone just throws a log or turf on the fire.  
I was hoping to hear from anyone else out there who had a problem with an eye allergy to open fires.
Thanks and look forward to your replies.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm so relieved to see this post.

I've recently bought a house with open fires - it's always been a dream of mine. However I seem to have developed an allergy which results in my eyes swelling up overnight after having spent time in a room with an open fire.

My eyes do not swell whilst I'm in the room, but overnight instead. I recently worked from home for a day with the open fire roaring in the corner. It was bliss. The next day I woke up with my eyelids filled with fluid and then 2/3 days later they dried out and became intolerably itchy. Oddly it also seems to cause an allergic reaction in my groin.

I have wondered about the following causes:
- My bedroom is above the lounge - are there fumes entering the room
- The type of wood is largely pine. I will try a hardwood instead
- I use a combo of wood and coal. perhaps try without coal for a few days
- The air/breeze of the fire drawing air in could be drying my eyes

All the open fires in my house draw extremely well with no fumes obviously coming back into the room. I've had the chimneys swept and inspected by a professional sweep.

I've tried using vaseline with Aloe Vera to try to protect my eyelids, but as it's an allergic reaction this seems like a tactical solution rather than the real answer.

I look forward to any responses!
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233488_tn?1310696703
Look for section called Today's Pulse. Read the section on dry eyes. Dry eyes and open fires don't mix
JCH MD
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