.I thought I would chime in with my story to see if anyone might be in the same situation as me.
I have been a major sufferer of terrible allergies ever since I moved from CA to NYC 6 years ago and went to college....Runny noses all of the time that turn into colds that turn into sinus infections. A patch test revealed I was allergic to basically every tree and every grass in the state. I also somehow developed an allergy to dogs and cats in the process, after growing up in a house with 10 + animals my whole life and no problems. Now when I go to visit my folks I have to take a benadryl within 30 minutes of setting foot in their house or the corner of my eyes feel like they are on fire. While in NYC we got a pure-bread Siberian cat...they have the lowest dander count of any cat out there. No problems at all for my allergies except in the rare cases that i pet her just after she cleaned and touched my face shortly after. Very rare.
2 years ago I moved back to California and we got a second Siberian cat. Moving back to California completely removed by nasal allergies (no more sneezing and sniffles) but getting the second Siberian seems to have given me a strange allergic reaction.
I now have swollen red upper and lower eyelids. Very important to note: They do not itch at all but they are very unsightly (the skin where my eyelashes attach to my eyelid are basically purple and the purple color has extended to the skin above my upper eyelids and below my eyebrows). I know for sure the allergies are from the new cat but I can't seem to treat them. Usually when I have an animal allergy it will go away within 30 minutes of removing myself from the allergy, but my eye lids are now permanent swollen after having hte cat for 2 years
The swelling seems to come and go, some days are worse and some days are better but they are always at least mildly swollen. Sometimes I have a bad week and I start to develop what looks like a stye on one of my eyes that will rise and eventually fall without "popping". Some days I work up with a lot of discharge (white and yellow) in the corner of my eyes or on my eyelashes.
Things I have tried:
Eyelid scrubs and Pataday/Patanol make the situation much much worse. I have sensitive skin so these products seems to irritate my skin even more. Warm water compresses help the least...something strange I have noticed is that when I take a hot shower my eyes start to itch either from the steam or the temperature. Strangely, cold water compresses seem to help the best but the relief is always temporary.
Also washing my sheets every 5 days or so seems to briefly help. By around day 5 I start to lay down to sleep and can just "feel" a strange allergen floating in the air and aggitating my skin (probably pet dander)
Hydrocortisone directly applied to my eyelids for a few days seems to help but the redness always reoccurs when I discontinue the treatment. No eye drops work (Patanol, Pataday, Visine-A, Samasil) and make the irritation worse (I think it might the benz chl in the eyedrops). I just started trying Zatidor and can't tell if it is working, but at least it isn't irritating in the way the other drops were....so far
As the cat has gotten older I have noticed the irritation from being home has greatly decreased. Before my skin would itch quite a bit from being near it for extended periods of time, but now I only have problems when I pet her after she has cleaned herself. It almost seems like the allergy is under control but whatever inflammation or infection occurred 2 years ago cannot resolve itself.
Getting rid of my cat is not an option so I am wondering if anyone here might have similiar history when you KNOW it is a pet allergy?
Should I try oral antibiotics to clear the inflammation? Air filters? Any other ideas?