What to do for swollen eye allergies

Treatment of metal hypersensitivity is highly individualized, as the allergens and reactions can be extremely diverse from person to person.

Skin hypersensitivities can often be resolved by avoiding the item that causes the reaction. If the dermatitis is more significant, the doctor can also prescribe corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce the local inflammation. The doctor can also prescribe oral antihistamines to further reduce the allergic reaction.

What to do for swollen eye allergies

Oral corticosteroids can also be used, but they can cause problematic side effects.

Systemic reactions are more hard to resolve, as they are often caused by implants. Removal of the implant is sometimes considered when a non-metal replacement is available and may be used. For example, a plastic-based dental filling material may be used to replace a previous metal dental filling. However, if the allergy is caused by an artificial knee or hip, replacement with a non-metal option is rarely done due to the difficulty of replacement. For these situations, treatment generally involves both topical (surface-applied) and oral medications to reduce the allergic reaction.

Due to the hard nature of treating systemic metal allergies, doctors sometimes recommend a hypersensitivity test before an implant is chosen.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. – Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may own regarding a medical condition. Source:

Medications

Many allergens that trigger allergic rhinitis are airborne, so you can’t always avoid them. If your symptoms can’t be well-controlled by simply avoiding triggers, your allergist may recommend medications that reduce nasal congestion, sneezing, and an itchy and runny nose.

They are available in numerous forms — oral tablets, liquid medication, nasal sprays and eyedrops. Some medications may own side effects, so discuss these treatments with your allergist so they can assist you live the life you want.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis. These medications counter the effects of histamine, the irritating chemical released within your body when an allergic reaction takes put. Although other chemicals are involved, histamine is primarily responsible for causing the symptoms. Antihistamines are found in eyedrops, nasal sprays and, most commonly, oral tablets and syrup.

Antihistamines assist to relieve nasal allergy symptoms such as:

  1. Sneezing and an itchy, runny nose
  2. Eye itching, burning, tearing and redness
  3. Itchy skin, hives and eczema

There are dozens of antihistamines; some are available over the counter, while others require a prescription.

Patients reply to them in a wide variety of ways.

Generally, the newer (second-generation) products work well and produce only minor side effects. Some people discover that an antihistamine becomes less effective as the allergy season worsens or as their allergies change over time. If you discover that an antihistamine is becoming less effective, tell your allergist, who may recommend a diverse type or strength of antihistamine. If you own excessive nasal dryness or thick nasal mucus, consult an allergist before taking antihistamines. Contact your allergist for advice if an antihistamine causes drowsiness or other side effects.

Proper use: Short-acting antihistamines can be taken every four to six hours, while timed-release antihistamines are taken every 12 to 24 hours.

The short-acting antihistamines are often most helpful if taken 30 minutes before an anticipated exposure to an allergen (such as at a picnic during ragweed season). Timed-release antihistamines are better suited to long-term use for those who need daily medications. Proper use of these drugs is just as significant as their selection. The most effective way to use them is before symptoms develop. A dose taken early can eliminate the need for numerous later doses to reduce established symptoms. Numerous times a patient will tell that he or she “took one, and it didn’t work.” If the patient had taken the antihistamine regularly for three to four days to build up blood levels of the medication, it might own been effective.

Side effects: Older (first-generation) antihistamines may cause drowsiness or performance impairment, which can lead to accidents and personal injury.

Even when these medications are taken only at bedtime, they can still cause considerable impairment the following day, even in people who do not feel drowsy. For this reason, it is significant that you do not drive a car or work with dangerous machinery when you take a potentially sedating antihistamine. Some of the newer antihistamines do not cause drowsiness.

A frequent side effect is excessive dryness of the mouth, nose and eyes.

Less common side effects include restlessness, nervousness, overexcitability, insomnia, dizziness, headaches, euphoria, fainting, visual disturbances, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distress, constipation, diarrhea, increased or decreased urination, urinary retention, high or low blood pressure, nightmares (especially in children), sore throat, unusual bleeding or bruising, chest tightness or palpitations. Men with prostate enlargement may encounter urinary problems while on antihistamines. Consult your allergist if these reactions occur.

Important precautions:

  1. Alcohol and tranquilizers increase the sedation side effects of antihistamines.
  2. While antihistamines own been taken safely by millions of people in the final 50 years, don’t take antihistamines before telling your allergist if you are allergic to, or intolerant of, any medicine; are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while using this medication; are breast-feeding; own glaucoma or an enlarged prostate; or are ill.
  3. Know how the medication affects you before working with heavy machinery, driving or doing other performance-intensive tasks; some products can slow your reaction time.
  4. Do not use more than one antihistamine at a time, unless prescribed.
  5. Follow your allergist’s instructions.
  6. Some antihistamines appear to be safe to take during pregnancy, but there own not been enough studies to determine the absolute safety of antihistamines in pregnancy.

    Again, consult your allergist or your obstetrician if you must take antihistamines.

  7. Keep these medications out of the reach of children.
  8. Never take anyone else’s medication.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy may be recommended for people who don’t reply well to treatment with medications or who experience side effects from medications, who own allergen exposure that is unavoidable or who desire a more permanent solution to their allergies. Immunotherapy can be extremely effective in controlling allergic symptoms, but it doesn’t assist the symptoms produced by nonallergic rhinitis.

Two types of immunotherapy are available: allergy shots and sublingual (under-the-tongue) tablets.

  1. Allergy shots: A treatment program, which can take three to five years, consists of injections of a diluted allergy extract, istered frequently in increasing doses until a maintenance dose is reached.

    Then the injection schedule is changed so that the same dose is given with longer intervals between injections. Immunotherapy helps the body build resistance to the effects of the allergen, reduces the intensity of symptoms caused by allergen exposure and sometimes can actually make skin test reactions vanish. As resistance develops over several months, symptoms should improve.

  2. Sublingual tablets: This type of immunotherapy was approved by the Food and Drug istration in Starting several months before allergy season begins, patients dissolve a tablet under the tongue daily.

    Treatment can continue for as endless as three years. Only a few allergens (certain grass and ragweed pollens and home dust mite) can be treated now with this method, but it is a promising therapy for the future.

Nasal sprays

Nonprescription saline nasal sprays will assist counteract symptoms such as dry nasal passages or thick nasal mucus. Unlike decongestant nasal sprays, a saline nasal spray can be used as often as it is needed. Sometimes an allergist may recommend washing (douching) the nasal passage. There are numerous OTC delivery systems for saline rinses, including neti pots and saline rinse bottles.

Nasal cromolyn blocks the body’s release of allergy-causing substances.

It does not work in every patients. The full dose is four times daily, and improvement of symptoms may take several weeks. Nasal cromolyn can assist prevent allergic nasal reactions if taken prior to an allergen exposure.

Nasal ipratropium bromide spray can assist reduce nasal drainage from allergic rhinitis or some forms of nonallergic rhinitis.

Decongestants

Decongestants assist relieve the stuffiness and pressure caused by swollen nasal tissue. They do not contain antihistamines, so they do not cause antihistaminic side effects. They do not relieve other symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Oral decongestants are available as prescription and nonprescription medications and are often found in combination with antihistamines or other medications.

It is not unusual for patients using decongestants to experience insomnia if they take the medication in the afternoon or evening. If this occurs, a dose reduction may be needed. At times, men with prostate enlargement may encounter urinary problems while on decongestants. Patients using medications to manage emotional or behavioral problems should discuss this with their allergist before using decongestants. Patients with high blood pressure or heart disease should check with their allergist before using.

Pregnant patients should also check with their allergist before starting decongestants.

Nonprescription decongestant nasal sprays work within minutes and final for hours, but you should not use them for more than a few days at a time unless instructed by your allergist. Prolonged use can cause rhinitis medicamentosa, or rebound swelling of the nasal tissue.

What to do for swollen eye allergies

Stopping the use of the decongestant nasal spray will cure that swelling, provided that there is no underlying disorder.

Oral decongestants are found in numerous over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications, and may be the treatment of choice for nasal congestion. They don’t cause rhinitis medicamentosa but need to be avoided by some patients with high blood pressure. If you own high blood pressure or heart problems, check with your allergist before using them.

Intranasal corticosteroids

Intranasal corticosteroids are the single most effective drug class for treating allergic rhinitis.

They can significantly reduce nasal congestion as well as sneezing, itching and a runny nose.

Ask your allergist about whether these medications are appropriate and safe for you. These sprays are designed to avoid the side effects that may happen from steroids that are taken by mouth or injection. Take care not to spray the medication against the middle portion of the nose (the nasal septum). The most common side effects are local irritation and nasal bleeding.

Some older preparations own been shown to own some effect on children’s growth; data about some newer steroids don’t indicate an effect on growth.

Leukatriene pathway inhibitors

Leukotriene pathway inhibitors (montelukast, zafirlukast and zileuton) block the action of leukotriene, a substance in the body that can cause symptoms of allergic rhinitis. These drugs are also used to treat asthma.

Eye allergy preparations and eyedrops

Eye allergy preparations may be helpful when the eyes are affected by the same allergens that trigger rhinitis, causing redness, swelling, watery eyes and itching.

OTC eyedrops and oral medications are commonly used for short-term relief of some eye allergy symptoms. They may not relieve every symptoms, though, and prolonged use of some of these drops may actually cause your condition to worsen.

Prescription eyedrops and oral medications also are used to treat eye allergies. Prescription eyedrops provide both short- and long-term targeted relief of eye allergy symptoms, and can be used to manage them.

Check with your allergist or pharmacist if you are unsure about a specific drug or formula.

What Can Parents Do?

If your kid has an egg allergy, assist him or her avoid eating egg.

Read food labels carefully because ingredients can change, and egg can be found in unexpected places.

Some foods glance OK from the ingredient list, but while being made they can come in contact with egg. This is called cross-contamination. Glance for advisory statements such as "may contain egg," "processed in a facility that also processes egg," or "manufactured on equipment also used for egg." Not every companies label for cross-contamination, so if in doubt, call or email the company to be sure.

Anyone preparing your child’s food should wash their hands with soap and water before touching it.

Your kid should always wash his or her hands before eating. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand-cleaning wipes. But don’t use hand sanitizer gels or sprays. Hand sanitizers only get rid of germs — they don’t get rid of egg proteins.

Keep foods that contain egg in a separate part of your kitchen so they don’t contaminate your child’s food. When preparing food, wash dishes and utensils with dishwashing soap and boiling water to remove any traces of egg.

When eating away from home, make certain you own an epinephrine auto-injector with you and that it hasn’t expired. Also, tell the people preparing or serving your child’s food about the egg allergy.

Sometimes, you may desire to bring food with you that you know is safe. Don’t eat at the restaurant if the chef, manager, or owner seems uncomfortable with your request for a safe meal.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of an Egg Allergy?

When someone with an egg allergy has something with egg in it, the body releases chemicals love . This can cause symptoms such as:

  1. coughing
  2. red spots
  3. diarrhea
  4. throat tightness
  5. wheezing
  6. itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
  7. hoarseness
  8. swelling
  9. vomiting
  10. hives
  11. stomachache
  12. trouble breathing
  13. a drop in blood pressure, causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness (passing out)

Allergic reactions to egg can vary.

Sometimes the same person can react differently at diverse times. Some reactions to egg are mild and involve only one part of the body, love hives on the skin. But, even when someone has had only a mild reaction in the past, the next reaction can be severe.

Egg allergies can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis might start with some of the same symptoms as a less severe reaction, but can quickly get worse.

The person may own trouble breathing or pass out. More than one part of the body might be involved. If it isn’t treated, anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.

What Is an Egg Allergy?

When someone has an egg allergy, the body’s immune system, which normally fights infections, overreacts to proteins in egg. If the person drinks or eats a product that contains egg, the body thinks these proteins are harmful invaders. The immune system responds by working extremely hard to fight off the invader. This causes an allergic reaction.

About 2% of children are allergic to eggs.

Luckily, most will outgrow the allergy by age

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment of metal hypersensitivity is highly individualized, as the allergens and reactions can be extremely diverse from person to person.

Skin hypersensitivities can often be resolved by avoiding the item that causes the reaction. If the dermatitis is more significant, the doctor can also prescribe corticosteroid creams and ointments to reduce the local inflammation. The doctor can also prescribe oral antihistamines to further reduce the allergic reaction.

Oral corticosteroids can also be used, but they can cause problematic side effects.

Systemic reactions are more hard to resolve, as they are often caused by implants. Removal of the implant is sometimes considered when a non-metal replacement is available and may be used. For example, a plastic-based dental filling material may be used to replace a previous metal dental filling. However, if the allergy is caused by an artificial knee or hip, replacement with a non-metal option is rarely done due to the difficulty of replacement. For these situations, treatment generally involves both topical (surface-applied) and oral medications to reduce the allergic reaction. Due to the hard nature of treating systemic metal allergies, doctors sometimes recommend a hypersensitivity test before an implant is chosen.

All material copyright MediResource Inc.

– Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may own regarding a medical condition. Source:

Avoidance

The first approach in managing seasonal or perennial forms of hay fever should be to avoid the allergens that trigger symptoms.

Outdoor exposure

  1. Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are at their peak, generally during the midmorning and early evening (this may vary according to plant pollen), and when wind is blowing pollens around.
  2. Don’t hang clothing outdoors to dry; pollen may cling to towels and sheets.
  3. Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors to minimize the quantity of pollen getting into your eyes.
  4. Avoid using window fans that can draw pollens and molds into the house.
  5. Wear a pollen mask (such as a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask) when mowing the lawn, raking leaves or gardening, and take appropriate medication beforehand.
  6. Try not to rub your eyes; doing so will irritate them and could make your symptoms worse.

Indoor exposure

  1. Keep windows closed, and use air conditioning in your car and home.

    Make certain to hold your air conditioning unit clean.

  2. To limit exposure to mold, hold the humidity in your home low (between 30 and 50 percent) and clean your bathrooms, kitchen and basement regularly. Use a dehumidifier, especially in the basement and in other damp, humid places, and empty and clean it often.

    What to do for swollen eye allergies

    If mold is visible, clean it with mild detergent and a 5 percent bleach solution as directed by an allergist.

  3. Reduce exposure to dust mites, especially in the bedroom. Use “mite-proof” covers for pillows, comforters and duvets, and mattresses and box springs. Wash your bedding frequently, using boiling water (at least degrees Fahrenheit).
  4. Clean floors with a damp rag or mop, rather than dry-dusting or sweeping.

Exposure to pets

  1. Wash your hands immediately after petting any animals; wash your clothes after visiting friends with pets.
  2. If you are allergic to a household pet, hold the animal out of your home as much as possible.

    If the pet must be inside, hold it out of the bedroom so you are not exposed to animal allergens while you sleep.

  3. Close the air ducts to your bedroom if you own forced-air or central heating or cooling. Replace carpeting with hardwood, tile or linoleum, every of which are easier to hold dander-free.

How Is an Egg Allergy Diagnosed?

An egg allergy is diagnosed with skin tests or blood tests. A skin test (also called a scratch test) is the most common allergy test.

Skin testing lets a doctor see in about 15 minutes if a kid is sensitive to egg.

With this test, the doctor or nurse:

  1. puts a tiny bit of egg extract on the skin
  2. pricks the outer layer of skin or makes a little scratch on the skin

If the area swells up and get red (like a mosquito bite), the kid is sensitive to eggs.

A blood test can be used if a skin test can’t be done. It takes a few days/weeks to get the results of blood tests, though, and these tests are not perfect. It’s significant to own your kid checked by a health care provider who has experience with allergy testing.

Treatments that are not recommended for allergic rhinitis

  1. Antibiotics: Effective for the treatment of bacterial infections, antibiotics do not affect the course of uncomplicated common colds (a viral infection) and are of no benefit for noninfectious rhinitis, including allergic rhinitis.
  2. Nasal surgery: Surgery is not a treatment for allergic rhinitis, but it may assist if patients own nasal polyps or chronic sinusitis that is not responsive to antibiotics or nasal steroid sprays.

Whether you're out in the unused spring air or cleaning your dusty basement, allergens run amok throughout the year.

They trigger allergy symptoms love coughing, sneezing, stuffy and runny nose — and swollen eyes. Allergies can cause the eyes to swell and become red, itchy, watery, and really uncomfortable.

"The reason people own swollen eyes … from allergies is they're getting contact in the eyes from airborne allergens," says Princess Ogbogu, MD, assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in the division of pulmonary, allergy, critical care, and sleep medicine.

"Basically, what happens is that when the allergens hit your eyes, they sort of dissolve in your tears," says Dr.

Ogbogu. "They own contact with the lining of the eye [the conjunctiva], and they react with antibodies that are bound to cells in your eyes," she says. These antibodies cause the body to release histamine — which also causes nasal congestion that often accompanies swollen eyes.

The allergens doing this damage include outdoor allergens love pollen and molds and indoor allergens such as cat and dog allergens, and indoor molds.

en españolAlergia al huevo

How Is an Allergic Reaction to Egg Treated?

If your kid has an egg allergy, always hold two epinephrine auto-injectors available in case of a severe reaction. An epinephrine auto-injector is a prescription medicine that comes in a little, easy-to-carry container.

It’s simple to use. Your doctor will show you how. Kids who are ancient enough can be taught how to give themselves the injection.

The doctor can also give you an allergy action plan, which helps you prepare for, recognize, and treat an allergic reaction. Share it with anyone who takes care of your kid, including relatives, school officials, and parents at frolic dates. Also consider having your kid wear a medical alert bracelet.

Every second counts in an allergic reaction. If your kid starts having serious allergic symptoms, love swelling of the mouth or throat or difficulty breathing, give the epinephrine auto-injector correct away.

What to do for swollen eye allergies

Also give it correct away if the symptoms involve two diverse parts of the body, love hives with vomiting. Then call and take your kid to the emergency room. Your kid needs to be under medical supervision because even if the worst seems to own passed, a second wave of serious symptoms can happen.

What Else Should I Know?

In the past, anyone with an egg allergy needed to talk to a doctor about whether getting the flu vaccine was safe because it is grown inside eggs. But health experts now tell that kids with egg allergy aren’t at higher risk for a reaction to the flu vaccine.

This is probably because the levels of egg allergen in the vaccine are so tiny that it’s safe even for those with a severe egg allergy.The flu vaccine is recommended for every kids older than 6 months of age during flu season.

If you’re worried, your kid can get the flu shot in a doctor’s office, where the health care provider can watch for and treat any reaction.



Do your eyes glance puffy or swollen? When fluid builds up in the thin layers of tissue surrounding your eyes, your eyes and eyelids can swell. But when is it cause for concern?

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Typically, eye swelling in your upper or lower eyelid is just an uncomfortable annoyance that will go away on its own within a day. But if the swelling lasts longer, it’s significant to treat it because some problems can quickly damage your eyes.

“Any swelling that lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours should send you to an eye care professional because there are times it can be something severe that can blind you,” says ophthalmologist Annapurna Singh, MD.

There are several reasons why you might see swelling in your eyes or eyelids.

They include:

Allergies – This is a common problem that is also the simplest to treat. These can be due to hay fever or a reaction to foods, chemicals or other irritants.

What to do for swollen eye allergies

Conjunctivitis – Also known as pink eye, this infection is common during freezing and flu season. It’s often caused by a virus, bacteria, allergens or other irritants.

Stye – An infection in an eyelash follicle or tear gland, styes appears as tender, red bumps at the edge of your eyelids.

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Chalazion – Similar to a stye, a chalazion is a harmless, little bump that appears on your eyelid.

Blocked oil glands cause chalazia.

Orbital cellulitis – This inflammation, which spreads from your sinuses, occurs more often in children than in adults. It causes redness and painful swelling of your eyelid and the skin surrounding your eyes.

Trauma-related injuries – When blunt force strikes, your eye compresses and retracts, causing blood to collect underneath the damaged area. This often causes swelling and discoloration.

Graves disease – Also known as thyroid eye disease, Graves disease is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of your eye.

It relates to a thyroid problem.

Eye cancer – This is rarely the reason for swelling in or around your eyes. However, it is a symptom. Eye cancer, or an eye lymphoma, is also accompanied by blurred vision or loss of vision. You may also see floaters — spots or squiggles — slowly moving in your field of vision.

Most swelling around the eyes goes away within a few days. Here are a few tips to assist reduce swelling in the meantime:

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  • Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • High blood pressure.
  • Carotid artery disease.
  • Diabetes.
  • Try a cool compress.

    Lie below and put a water-soaked washcloth across your eyes.

  • Antihistamine eye drops for allergies. Use antihistamine eye drops — but only if you own allergies. When it comes to steroid drops, Dr. Singh warns not to use them inadvertently and only as prescribed. “Steroid eye drops can work extremely well when you own allergies; however, if it’s used for another condition, it could actually harm and blind you,” she says. “Always, check with your physician first.”
  • Wash or rinse. Attempt rinsing your eyes with water if swelling is associated with a discharge.

    Cool water is more soothing for allergies.

  • Remove contacts. If you wear contact lenses, remove them immediately if your eyes or eyelids are swollen.
  • Lymphoma.

Signs of a more serious problem

Call your eye doctor correct away if swelling lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours and you notice any of the following:

Long-term eye care

To ensure that your eyes remain healthy, regular eye exams are a excellent thought — whether or not you’ve experienced swelling in your eyes, Dr. Singh says.

“One of the reasons to own regular eye exams is to check for glaucoma, which can slowly damage the optic nerve – and for an early cataract, which clouds the lens in the eye and also affects your vision,” she says.

An eye exam can also reveal signs of systemic diseases, including:

  1. Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  2. High blood pressure.
  3. Carotid artery disease.
  4. Diabetes.
  5. Lymphoma.

If you are under the age of 40, Dr.

Singh recommends seeing an eye doctor every four or five years.

What to do for swollen eye allergies

After age 40, see your eye doctor every two or three years. Anyone who is age 50 or older should visit their eye doctor once a year, she says

“If you follow these guidelines, your eye doctor can assist to discover conditions that you might otherwise miss,” she says.

The Facts

Metal hypersensitivity is a disorder of the immune system. It is a common condition that affects 10% to 15% of the population. It can produce a variety of symptoms, including rashes, swelling, or pain due to contact with certain metals (see the symptoms and complications section, below).

In addition to the local skin reactions, metal hypersensitivity can also manifest itself as more chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

What to do for swollen eye allergies

There are numerous local and systemic symptoms that, when considered together, can be caused by metal hypersensitivities.

It is estimated that up to 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel and that 1% to 3% of people are allergic to cobalt and chromium. These types of reactions can be localized reactions that are limited to one area, but they can also be more generalized and affect other more distant parts of the body.

Signs of a more serious problem

Call your eye doctor correct away if swelling lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours and you notice any of the following:

Long-term eye care

To ensure that your eyes remain healthy, regular eye exams are a excellent thought — whether or not you’ve experienced swelling in your eyes, Dr.

Singh says.

“One of the reasons to own regular eye exams is to check for glaucoma, which can slowly damage the optic nerve – and for an early cataract, which clouds the lens in the eye and also affects your vision,” she says.

An eye exam can also reveal signs of systemic diseases, including:

  1. Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  2. High blood pressure.
  3. Carotid artery disease.
  4. Diabetes.
  5. Lymphoma.

If you are under the age of 40, Dr. Singh recommends seeing an eye doctor every four or five years. After age 40, see your eye doctor every two or three years.

Anyone who is age 50 or older should visit their eye doctor once a year, she says

“If you follow these guidelines, your eye doctor can assist to discover conditions that you might otherwise miss,” she says.

The Facts

Metal hypersensitivity is a disorder of the immune system. It is a common condition that affects 10% to 15% of the population. It can produce a variety of symptoms, including rashes, swelling, or pain due to contact with certain metals (see the symptoms and complications section, below).

In addition to the local skin reactions, metal hypersensitivity can also manifest itself as more chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

There are numerous local and systemic symptoms that, when considered together, can be caused by metal hypersensitivities.

It is estimated that up to 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel and that 1% to 3% of people are allergic to cobalt and chromium. These types of reactions can be localized reactions that are limited to one area, but they can also be more generalized and affect other more distant parts of the body.


Making the Diagnosis

Your doctor may suspect metal hypersensitivities based on a combination of your personal history and your signs and symptoms. To determine possible causes of metal exposure, your doctor may enquire if you own any type of implants, if you smoke, or if you regularly use any cosmetics.

Aside from a thorough personal history, your doctor may also order laboratory tests to confirm whether you own a metal hypersensitivity.

What to do for swollen eye allergies

These tests generally involve giving a blood sample at a laboratory. The laboratory technicians will test the white blood cells for their activity against metal ions by using radioisotopes and microscopically observing physical changes within the cells. If the test shows that the white blood cells own increased activity when exposed to the metal ions, it indicates the presence of a metal hypersensitivity.

A dermatologist can also conduct an allergy test in which they expose various metal ions to your skin to test for a hypersensitivity reaction.

This allergy test, which is similar to a regular "scratch test," is often done as a "patch test." The metal ions that are believed to be causing the allergic reaction are applied to a patch, which is then placed on the skin. The patch is left in put for 48 hours, after which it is removed from the skin at a return visit to the doctor. Skin that is red or irritated under the patch may be an indication of an allergy.


Symptoms and Complications

Signs and symptoms of metal hypersensitivities can range from little and localized to more severe and generalized.

Limited reactions can appear as a contact dermatitis on the skin that has been exposed to the metal.

The skin may appear red, swollen, and itchy. Hives and rashes may also develop.

More severe metal hypersensitivity reactions generally happen from prolonged exposure to a metal allergen through implants or metal ions that are inhaled or eaten. These reactions often cause chronic joint or muscle pain, inflammation, and swelling, leading to generalized fatigue and lack of energy. In addition, fibromyalgia (pain without known cause) and chronic fatigue syndrome can also be seen in people with metal hypersensitivities.

Common symptoms of metal hypersensitivity include:

  1. hives
  2. fibromyalgia
  3. rash
  4. muscle pain
  5. chronic inflammation
  6. depression
  7. chronic fatigue
  8. reddening of skin
  9. joint pain
  10. cognitive impairment
  11. blistering of the skin
  12. swelling

Related conditions

The following symptoms and conditions own been linked to metal hypersensitivity.

If you own any of these conditions, you may wish to speak to your doctor about the possibility of a metal hypersensitivity:

  1. fibromyalgia
  2. eczema
  3. osteomyelitis
  4. chronic fatigue syndrome
  5. rheumatoid arthritis


Causes

The symptoms of metal hypersensitivity are caused when the body’s immune system starts to view metal ions as foreign threats. The cells that make up the immune system normally kill foreign bacteria and viruses by causing inflammation. If they start attacking metal ions that you touch, eat, inhale, or own implanted in you, they can produce a variety of symptoms (see the symptoms and complications section, below).

Potential metal allergens (triggers of allergic reactions) are extremely common in everyday life. Typical sources such as watches, coins, and jewellery come readily to mind. However, there are also other less obvious sources of metal in our daily lives. For example, cosmetic products and contact lens solutions may also contain metals that can trigger a reaction at the area of contact.

Nickel is one of the most frequent allergens, causing significant local contact dermatitis (skin reddening and itching). Cobalt, copper, and chromium are also common culprits. These metals can be found in consumer items such as jewellery, cell phones, and clothing items.

Aside from everyday items, medical devices also contain possible allergens such as chromium and titanium.

Older dental implants and fillings are often made of metals. A few intra-uterine devices (IUDs) for birth control are made of copper and can also cause hypersensitivities. Implantable devices such as artificial knees, artificial hips, pacemakers, stents, and fracture plates, rods, or pins may contain metals that can cause metal hypersensitivity reactions. These reactions are often more severe in nature when the allergens own been implanted within the body for an extended period of time.

In addition, people who already own an autoimmune disorder (a disorder where the immune system is overactive) can own a higher risk of a metal hypersensitivity, as their immune system is in a constant state of activity.


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