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Allergic reaction leading to Bleph/MGD made WORSE by eye drops.

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  • Allergic reaction leading to Bleph/MGD made WORSE by eye drops.

    Hi everyone. I have had eye problems for a little over a year now. Here is the story and my guess as to what is going on:

    1. Had uncomfortable dry eyes every time I stayed with my ex girlfriend, over time narrowed it down to latex as the only viable cause (tested this subseqently and now 99% sure). My eyes would be dry but after 1 or 2 days they would be completely back to normal.

    2. After a particularly bad spell the dry eyes never fully went back to normal. They were only slightly dry but noticeably. Went to the doctor and started out on months of trying various eye drops, lubricating (many with preservatives, then later without which helped a bit) but also allergy eye drops including: sodium chromoglycate, otrivine antistine, opatanol, and Rapitil. Also tried a few courses of steroid eye drops which seemed to really help for a day, then my eyes went back to normal. I also tried oral antihistamines which seemed to help a little for a day or two then not at all.

    After a month of trying various drops (some of those mentioned above) my eyes became far worse than before. I think I may have used too many drops without being told/realizing that that might cause problems. Anyway, doctors/opthamologists simply prescribed other, as yet untried drops. At this time my eyes were best in the morning, and rapidly deteriorated throughout the day and by the evening I was in a lot of pain.

    3. After trying every eye drop imaginable and doing some research online I decided to stop using drops with preservatives (this was after months of using many with preservatives). I used nothing but preservative-free lubricating drops for a couple months, and my eyes improved a little although I was using drops constantly (every 10-20mins).

    4. I then tried preservative-free allergy drops sodium chromoglycate. These seemed to helpand I stopped using the lubricating drops and just used these allergy drops, perhaps 4 or 5 times a day, 1 drop each eye.

    I stuck with this for months however my eyes were still quite painful and depending on what I was doing or where I was (e.g. at a computer for a long time/in cold wind/in an air conditioned room) they could get unbearable.

    5. Having tried everything imaginable, I decided to try using nothing at all, given that it seemed the more drops I tried, the worse my eyes became. This seemed to improve things a little. A month later I decided to start cleaning my eyelids more carefully, and this helped even more and my eyes improved again, sometimes--if I had a week without any really late nights, without cold wind, and without going to smokey places--almost to normal. However, in harsh conditions (as those mentioned above) my eyes could still spiral into dryness or stinging pain which would take days of careful care to get back to normal. By this point my eyes were driest in the morning, and generally improved throughout the day, perhaps getting a bit worse again shortly before bed but not too much.

    7. Recently I have also noticed that I sometimes have stringy stuff in my eyes in the morning, although if I carefully remove it with a Qtip it does not recur through the day, but will be there again the following morning. This comes and goes in varying amounts.

    In conclusion, my best guess is that:

    1. the initial allergic reaction, after repeated occurrences and periods of dryness (it took me time to deduce the cause) triggered some kind of permanent/longer term bleph/mgd.

    2. The many different eye drops I used somehow made matters worse (not sure why this would be the case).

    3. Now, having stopped using everything, I am left with just the bleph/mgd, but cannot completely get it under control. (I should mention at one point I got it very close to normal, but then suffered the allergic reaction again My fault). My eyes are much better than before, but I still have bad days where work can be an absolute nightmare and even if you have a week pain-free, one bad day can make you feel back to square one.

    I am looking for any insights, treatment ideas or other views/diagnoses as to what is going on! THANKS!!

    Ps I am a 24 year old male and had no history of allergies prior to this. I am also highly frustrated by this whole thing which is particularly debilitating when trying to get your first job...

  • #2
    Sounds an awfully lot like my allergy problems. I also had no history of the usual type of allergies and had negative tests at the allergist's office. Didn't know the difference between different types of hypersensitivities (type 1, 2, 3, 4...) or that regular allergists don't diagnose all types and allergy meds don't treat all types.

    What helped most was when (after many, many years) I had skin allergy patch tests with a dermatologist and then strictly eliminated all my skin allergens from my life. That wasn't easy to do, and would have been far more difficult if spending time at a boyfriends if he wasn't willing to do the same. It's a little more expensive to buy products free of certain chemicals (for me it's formaldehyde), but very worthwhile for me. I'm still sometimes hit with a reaction that's really hard to find the source of. This week it was a throw pillow on my sofa that I rested my head on (fabric can be treated with formaldehyde).

    Now I'm to have customized skin allergy tests for some eye drops ingredients and flourescien dye because only have severe problems after seeing the opthalmologist for pressure exams (Glaucoma) rather than constant irritation. Skin allergy reactions are delayed reactions, so it takes a day or 2 for the reaction to happen. Then it lasts 2-5 days. In my case it flares up my other eye issues, so I don't fully recover for a few weeks. And if you are exposed to the allergen every 1-5 days (like it's in your toiletries, bedding...), your symptoms will be constant and you won't be able to identify the allergen source without tests.

    Just my experiences here. Don't know if your allergies are the same type.


    • #3
      Loldo, did you ever figure it out?