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Eyes okay outdoors (even in brisk wind) not good indoors or in auto

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Scout View Post
    For me, the simple answer is: The environment outside is much cleaner and the breezes keep it cleaner.

    And by “clean,” I mean clean from any environmental triggers that cause ocular inflammation.

    When members here state, “I know I am not allergic to anything in my house,” I want to state, “Are you really sure about that?” Because sensitivities, allergic and inflammatory reactions of the eyes are almost always caused by contact allergens or irritants, not typical allergens.

    In order to state with certainty that nothing in your home is triggering ocular inflammation, you would have to take a sample of absolutely EVERYTHING in your home and place that sample on your skin under a patch for several days to be sure that you don’t have a reaction to it. That means all your clothing, jewelry, hair care and beauty products, soaps, lotions, air fresheners, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, pillows, furniture, cleaning products, carpets, etc., etc., etc.

    Most allergists test for airborne allergens that trigger systemic allergic reactions. Eye and skin “allergies” (I prefer to use the term inflammatory reactions) are contact allergies—meaning the reaction is on the surface (of your skin or eyes) and the inflammatory reaction can be immediate or up to several days after exposure. Most patch testing to determine contact allergies is done by dermatologists, not allergists.

    Back before I learned that so many of my hair care products, lotions, cleaning solutions, soaps and other products were triggering ocular inflammation, my eyes did feel better outside. Chemicals and fragrances are trapped in the air indoors, causing repeat and consistent exposure. Outside, the air is fresh, probably diluting the extent of exposure to our eyes by the offending substances. Add a nice breeze and the offending chemical or fragrance is blown away from our eyes.

    Check your environment. Try to find out if any products you are using could be triggering inflammation. Remember, the most common contact irritants are fragrances. Pretty much everything we use has a fragrance added. Even the products that are labeled “non-allergenic” often have fragrances added and don’t really have to prove that the claim of “non-allergenic” is true.

    Just my two cents . . .

    Thank you for your two cents. Makes perfect sense to me.


    • #17
      Yes, Scout, thank you. That makes perfect sense to me, too. But it sounds impossible to test for everything. Overwhelming thought. Do you have a link to a site that explains how to do 'at home' testing? Like where to test and exactly how? I have changed many things I use such as shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, all to unscented types. I don't wear makeup anymore. ugh. After reading your post, I would like to explore this further.


      • #18
        Blink rate may be the cause....

        In your car, you don't blink much because you are focusing on the road.

        In your house, you are watching TV and using your computer or reading so you dont' blink much.

        Outside when walking, you don't need to keep your eyes open that long, so you are more comfortable.


        • #19
          That's also very very true NeedMyEyes. When walking outside you will not be having to concentrate so much on the minute aspects of your enviroment. It took me a while to realise that when this all began. A walk is a good tonic if things are getting bad.
          Lulu x


          • #20

            I couldn't agree more, with everything you said. My eyes are certainly much, much improved since ridding my house of some nasty chemicals.

            For anyone interested in learning more, I like the TRUE test website for detailed info since TRUE test seems to be what all the derms use for testing for contact allergens and if you click on a link on the panel allergen page you can read lots of good details.

            Glad to hear your eyes are improved too.


            [QUOTE=Scout;70469]For me, the simple answer is: The environment outside is much cleaner and the breezes keep it cleaner.


            • #21
              I am a Sjogrens sufferer. My eyes are just plain dry. For what it's worth, I live in Alberta Canada in summer and winter in Panama. Average temp here in Panama is 80-90 degrees, average humidity 75-95%. As a rule I don't need AC in the house but without fans to move the air the humidity will drive you crazy. My eyes bother me just as much, if not more, here as in good old dry Alberta. Why? because there is always air movement be it a fan or AC in cars, stores, offices and restaurants. Wind or for that matter air movement of any kind is killer for me although a stiff wind will still evoke some tear production it is not usually enough to keep up with its drying effects. My point? kudos if humidity helps, but don't count on it.

              Just a thought for you Warren or anyone else suspecting allergies; remember cars, especially ones newer than 2 years, are killer for off-gassing plastics, carpets, upholstery, glues etc and there you are trapped with windows up and fans a blazing, usually recycling the air to keep from sucking in the fumes of the cars around you. Kind of a catch 22 isn't it.


              • #22
                It's one reason to be thankful for living in the British Isles I suppose! It's a cold, dry day here in Dublin but the humidity is still 66%.

                NeedMyEyes- I think you're right about the blink count. When I'm outside walking or gardening I'm relaxed and I guess I blink more. I also think a gentle wind will cause me to blink more frequently. A strong wind just results in floods of over-tearing and big, red eyes. It means I have to be very careful about when I go for a beach walk. Sand and wind...uugh!
                The eye altering, alters all - William Blake