Editor’s Dose: An allergy alert and chemosis cautions

WELL, I THINK IT’S SAFE to say that spring has most definitely sprung. It’s that time of year when you walk outside your door and notice your car has a nice sheen of yellow from the layer of pollen that has adhered to the entire exterior. It’s also the time of year for sneezing, sniffling noses, and itchy, watery eyes. My whole family and I have been especially susceptible to it the past few weeks, and recently had quite a scare as a result of it.


One of our twins has seasonal allergies, particularly during the spring season. I know this because I hear her sneezing in the back seat many times while driving — especially after being outdoors. So when I heard a series of sneezes one afternoon after picking her up, my thoughts were nothing more than that she seemed to have it pretty bad that day. To my surprise and dismay when we arrived home, I realized her eyes had become very puffy. I immediately gave her a dose of Children’s Benadryl, and upon closer inspection, saw that the whites of her eyes were quickly becoming very yellow and also swollen.

In just a few moments’ time, the whites of her eyes appeared to be filling with puss, or taking the form of a growing blister. Immediately alarmed, and worried that it could be something far more sinister than allergies, I immediately took her to the emergency room.

To our ultimate relief, it was, in fact, an allergic reaction. Called chemosis, the U.S. National Library of Medicine describes it as “a sign of eye irritation. The outer surface of the eye (conjunctiva) may look like a big blister. It can also look like it has fluid in it. When severe, the tissue swells so much that you can’t close your eyes properly. Chemosis is often related to allergies or an eye infection. Chemosis can also be a complication of eye surgery, or it may occur from rubbing the eye too much.”

In our daughter’s case, it was an allergic reaction. Thankfully, her eyes quickly returned back to normal after receiving medication. Perhaps you’ve heard of this reaction? Whether you have or have not, hopefully you are finding relief from your allergy symptoms as we continue headlong into the spring season!



Celeste Jo Walls is managing editor of Central Florida Health News. She may be reached by e-mail at celeste.walls@centralfloridamediagroup.com.

Posted March 31, 2016

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