Acute Swelling of Eyes -- Was this an allergic reaction?
Just returned from a not-so-great holiday trip to see family in Atlanta. Twice during our stay, Liam's left eye suddenly reddened, teared, and swelled. The first time, this occurred just after he woke up in the morning(before he had eaten anything). The second time it happened during an evening party (but before any food was served). The second occurrence was much worse -- his left eye swelled shut; then after more than an hour, the right eye did the same. In both cases, the affected eye(s) seemed to be very itchy, but didn't bother Liam otherwise. The "reaction" progressed quickly each time: Liam would start rubbing his eye, and within minutes it would be red, and the eyelids would be quite swollen. Benadryl seemed to help the first time (eye looked normal within 3 hours), but had absolutely no effect the second time. We took Liam to the ER of Egleston Children's Hospital, and were told he was experiencing an acute localized allergic reaction to an unknown substance. Even the whites of his eyes were swollen -- looked like cooked egg white! His eyes also had quite a bit of clear discharge (overnight, it sealed his lashes together).
We were prescribed another antihistamine (Adorax? -- don't have the bottle right now), and were instructed to be watchful for signs of a generalized allergic reaction. During the night Liam developed a chesty cough, a 101 degree fever, and he started breathing in a shallow, "wheezy" manner. He'd been showing mild cold symptoms all week, and I was fairly certain that the "bug" had simply chosen that moment to strike. In the morning, I spoke with Liam's pediatrician back in Denver, and described both the eye incidents, and his current cold/flu-like symptoms. He thought the eye swelling was most likely related to the virus rather than an allergic reaction. It took three full days for Liam's eyes to return to normal.
Has anyone out there ever experienced something similar? I doubt I'll ever have the satisfaction of knowing definitively whether allergies or a virus caused Liam's eye troubles. He's had no other eye problems in his two years of life: EXCEPT for last April, when we visited the same homes in Atlanta. Within two days, he ended up with what was diagnosed as pinkeye. That could be pure coincidence, or it could mean that there's some sort of environmental allergen present there (which would seriously impact future visits to our relatives in Atlanta). I truly don't think ingestion of peanuts or other prohibited foods triggered these reactions, and wasn't aware of them being anywhere that Liam could contact them. I appreciate any input you can provide!!!
[This message has been edited by Liamsmom (edited December 31, 2001).]