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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Doctors say my eye problems are due to newly developed allergies?

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Author Topic: Doctors say my eye problems are due to newly developed allergies?
bernieb4
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This is sort of long, but please stick with it. I need someone's help, and I took all the time to write it. If I read yours and had an answer, believe me, I would offer it.


One week ago now I began having eye symptoms - more serious than the typical ones I suffer from due to lyme(soreness, fatigue, sensitivity, etc.).

I had been biking quite a bit and I live in the city. In other words there's tonnes of crap in the air: pollens, dust, construction particles.

First, my eyes felt like I just had gotten stuff in them, which maybe I had. Then they were sore, so I used Clear Eyes Dry Eye Relief when I got home. It helped at first. The next day they were drier, stung more and itched more.

Day 3: They really burned, stung, itchced and were clearly red and inflamed. I called my llmd. He prescribed me some Gentamicin abx eye drops. I took them for one day. It didn't get better.

Day 4: I decided to go see a doctor in person to have them examine my eyes. This doctor was certain from the get go that my eye problems were allergies, along with my runny nose and sneezing (which I explained had been going on for at least 2 months straight, and didn't seem to be allergies).

She prescribed Zyrtec and Patanol(Rx eye drops), which I have been taking.

Three days later I saw another dr. because the symptoms hadn't improved and, in fact, worsened some. He said the Patanol was indeed working - "it was working to well". I said (in my head), "Well, that's funny..I thought working would mean it was functioning, serving a purpose, being effective, you idiot."

He said I just needed to take them only twice a day instead of 4 times because they had dried my eyes out. And he told me to buy some fake tears and some Lacrilube for nighttime to get rid of the dryness, which was still prominent, he said.

So now I have my bag of eye goodies, some undoubtedly wasted money, and two not so intellectual MDs.

Maybe I did develop allergies. I know that can happen, and this did happen last year in mid-June. That time I assumed it was the Lyme and I treated it with Gentamicin. I believe it subsided after two weeks or so. So was it allergies or was it the Gentamicin successfully fighting the Lyme?

I wish I knew.

An allergy is a disorder of the immune system, I read. Two types of white blood cells give off histamine which stimulates high inflammation response, which is in turn your allergy.

I also came across this interesting bit while researching (regarding one of the allergy-stimulating white blood cells):

"Basophils appear in many specific kinds of inflammatory reactions, particularly those that cause allergic symptoms. Basophils contain anticoagulant heparin, which prevents blood from clotting too quickly. They also contain the vasodilator histamine, which promotes blood flow to tissues. They can be found in unusually high numbers at sites of exoparasite infection, e.g., ticks."

What I gathered from that: The basophils contain histamine, which send more blood to body tissues(where Lyme loves to hide). There are tons of them at the site of tick bites - the body wants blood to flow to tissues to show that those areas are inflamed and need white blood cells to fight off the borellia burgdorferi.


I think that is correct. And perhaps, whoever wrote that article knew nothing of Lyme and, for that reason, wrote "unusually high".


Anyways, the Zyrtec gives me a sore throat, a headache and makes me weak - like I felt that gray day I got Lyme (Memorial Day 2007).

So I am wondering if this is what's going on - Zyrtec (an antihistamine) blocks the histamine, which stimulates inflammation. Because it is blocked, free radicals (pollens, grasses, etc)roam freely without the body getting an inflammation notice.

Maybe this would be pleasant in a non-Lymer, but in me, because I have other free-roaming radicals (Bb lyme), my body ignores that along with ignoring the pollens/grasses/etc.

And so I wonder: maybe the Zyrtec does work, BUT because it works, maybe the lyme spirochetes have a field day and begin to reinfect all my body tissues once again. Thus, Zyrtec halts the allergy response, but at the same time makes my body vulnerable to lyme (which, as I said, has always badly affected my eyes).

If you've stuck with me thus far, you may how my hypotheses have driven me to this unanswerable conundrum I'm stuck in.

All these miles of words and strung-together thoughts, and all I really want is to know how the heck do I make my eyes stop itching and burning?


If any of you who read this(and I pray someone does), have what they think is an adequate remedy, PLEASE let me know of it!

I do not think I will take this Zyrtec again. I think it made my brain fog increase as well, and this sore throat and weakness really is identical to the day I got lymed.

Anyone else who has supposedly 'developed allergies' recently after contracting lyme disease, please let me know how they've coped or their theory.

And as noted, an allergy is a "disorder of the immune system", a hypersensitivity to free radicals, which I believe is due to the overstimulated immune system that results from lyme. In other words, the immune system just wants to fight off everything it sees that it doesn't recognize, after having fought so many invading spirochetes.

Posts: 98 | From WI | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
imagine2
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Hi Bernie,
I'm sorry...you must be miserable. I do have "lyme eyes" symptoms including burning, pain, blurred vision,extreme sensitivity to light especially when I am herxing. (Are you herxing right now as well?)

But if you add allergies on top of that I'm sure you're in a difficult situation. I can't speak from experience on the allergies but know someone that has serious eye problems due to allergies.

When he has an attack like yours, he uses a neti pot to clear his nostrils.

There is also a homeopathic eye drop remedy by Similasan for "Allergy Eyes". I have used their Dry Eye Relief which is very cooling but have to use it often.

We have to be careful with preservatives in eye drops. I also like Systane long lasting eye drops. (no preservatives)

Just some thoughts. I hope you feel better.

Posts: 677 | From Virginia | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
psano2
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I think you should see an ophthalmologist. I've had numerous eye problems, and the last time I had symptoms similar to yours, went to the ophth. after an unsuccessful trip to another Dr. He said that I had quite a lot of pus in my eyes and prescribed Zymar eye drops (gatifloxacin). They're very strong, so strong it made me herx in other areas besides my eyes, but the itching went away quickly and my eyes got well...for a while.

Unfortunately, it's my opinion that if Lyme affects our eyes, it's really hard to get rid of unless you're also on an effective systemic antibiotic, and finding what works best for you takes time.

Posts: 975 | From California | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Leelee
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Hi bernie,

You sound miserable and I am so sorry. I also think you are especially wise and a great researcher to have come upon this hypothesis.

My eye symptoms are a lot like yours, but I think yours may be worse.

Over the past few years I have been to several eye doctors and no one knew what to do for my situation, let alone acknowledge I had a problem.

In desperation I went to an allergy specialist in part due to my eye problems and in part to respiratory problems. He said I didn't have any allergies, but he did prescribe Nasonex for some reason and Claritin D. He said that would help my extremely dry eyes.

Needless to say, it didn't and I quit taking both meds after about three months.

I think you may be onto something with your theory. I wish I could be of more help.

--------------------
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King,Jr

Posts: 1573 | From Maryland | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bernieb4
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Thanks for the advice y'all.

imagine2,
I think I definitely will locate a netty pot and try that. I know the ears, eyes, throat, and nose are all connected on some upper respiratory sort of highway, but I didn't think of helping my eyes by taking care of my sinuses. Maybe it will though. Maybe they're clogged with radicals.

Also, I tried Similasan Cataract Care Drops last year, though they didn't help. However, perhaps the Allergy Relief ones would. My doc did say not to mix homeopathic with western drops for right now. And I will read about Systane drops - I hate preservatives and artificial products, especially in my fading eyes.

psano,

I do think my eye qualms are distinct from what you had, as I do not have any sort of pus in or around my eyes. Instead, they're just bright red on the lids and the blood vessels are pretty red. They're really dry and they burn. Also, I am taking clindamycin daily, which is a potent systemic antibiotic.


Leelee,

This whole bit made me smile:

"You sound miserable and I am so sorry. I also think you are especially wise and a great researcher to have come upon this hypothesis."

Thank you. I don't know that I'm wise, but I certainly do like investigating things.

Leelee, I hope you and I find an answer for our eye problems, and I hope doctors start to appreciate the seriousness of Lyme disease soon.

Posts: 98 | From WI | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bettyg
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hi there,

we just had a new member sign up today/night, and they are an eye dr.

they gave someone else advise elsewhere...so look thru the topics dealing with eyes, and you will come across it i'm sure ok! [Smile]

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Starfall1969
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Have you tried posting in Seeking a Doctor for a LL opthamologist?

Just a suggestion, I'm not sure what else to advise; looks like you got some good ideas here.

I sincerely hope you find an answer soon. you've got to be miserable.

Posts: 1682 | From Dillsburg, PA | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bernieb4
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Starfall, I will search for an ophtal who knows about Lyme (though I'm predicting there aren't any in WI).

betty,
do you happen to know that members username? I might pm them.

Posts: 98 | From WI | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lymeinhell
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4 suggestions:

1. Stop biking during allergy season, especially on those bad days (and you know them typically when you first get out of bed) - Good grief, you're a glutton for punishment. Didn't your Allergist tell you to stay inside with the AC on?

2. Try Zaditor for your eyes. It's newer than Patenol and works better. It's off prescription now and you can pick it up at Walgreens.

3. Some people just can't take Zyrtec. Or rather, their dosing time is wrong,. Have you tried taking it late in the afternoon or evening rather than in the am? That way it's at full force when you need it the most - at the end of the day, when your body is tired and apt to let your immune system run a bit low. I have found it works best for me by taking it at 3pm every day. When I took it in the am, I really thought it didn't work at all.

4. You might want to address yeast and fungal issues. It's a known fact that candida can cause allergies to become excaberated (been there, done that). My Allergist and ENT were blown away when they saw the difference in my sinuses after my LLMD had put me on high dose Diflucan for a month. So drastic was the difference, I was release from their care over the next 2 months.

And finally, I know myself and many here have found relief from herxing by taking Benadryl, so I'm not sure I buy into your hypothesis.

--------------------
Julie
_ _ ___ _ _
lymeinhell

Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.

Posts: 2257 | From a better place than I was 11 yrs ago | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bernieb4
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lymeinhell:
"1. Stop biking during allergy season, especially on those bad days (and you know them typically when you first get out of bed) - Good grief, you're a glutton for punishment. Didn't your Allergist tell you to stay inside with the AC on?"

I haven't actually been biking in 5 days and have unfortunately spent my time in doors trying to recover. Don't have the money for ac and wouldn't want it anyway.

So, lymeinhell, your suggestion is just 'change yourself and give up your passion'. Not too helpful. You may not have noticed but allergy season in WI tends to begin in late May and run through mid-September. I'd rather die to than stay inside. There is a reason I became suddenly reactive to everything in the air, and it's answer is definitely not 'just stay inside'. I never had a health problem in my life pre-lyme infection, and now I have all these dysfunctions of the immune system.

lymeinhell: "And finally, I know myself and many here have found relief from herxing by taking Benadryl, so I'm not sure I buy into your hypothesis."

I'd be surprised if anyone bought my insomniac-driven, research-filled post from a few nights ago, lest you. Nevertheless, could be that many of you have found relief taking Benadryl because you do in fact have allergies, and I'm sure many of you have had allergies for far longer than you have had lyme.

i have read hundreds of blog posts of Zyrtec-haters.

Now, the flucanazole I will look into.

Posts: 98 | From WI | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
glm1111
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Check out the symptom list at

www.humaworm.com

Allergies can be a symptom of parasites. Parasites/worms play a MAJOR role in Lyme disease. Also high doses of vitamin C (Ester C) can help a lot with allergies because it helps supports the immune system.

Gael

--------------------
PARASITES/WORMS ARE NOW
RECOGNIZED AS THE NUMBER 1 CO-INFECTION IN LYME DISEASE BY ILADS*

Posts: 6418 | From philadelphia pa | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ping
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Hi bernieb4 - Check out the post "Allergie Immun Germany" by ericaf. It's all about "allergies" and the possibility of ridding yourself of them.

I'm also sick and tired of sacrificing my passion for certain activities (including eating) to allergies and if there's a legal way out of it, I'm going to take it.

The price of the therapy is reasonable, all things considered. Best of luck in whatever you choose to do.

ping
"We are more than containers for Lyme"

--------------------
ping
"We are more than containers for Lyme"

Posts: 1302 | From Back in TX again | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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