My first episode of iritis occurred after huge pollen dust overload from gardening . I was digging a hole next to a 20 foot tall Vibernum bush that caused me to sneeze, wheeze, and cough profusely . Tonnes of dust a pollen came off the bush toward me as I dug the hole for over half an hour , as it was windy .I thought It was nothing of it despite my girlfriend shouting at me to wear a mask, and acted tough as I never suffered from hey fever or dust allergies before…..
…..That evening I had a sore red left eye, which turned out to be Iritis when diagnosed a week later. I later found that the bush was a Vibernum, which is a highly toxic plant covered in with hooks, dusty leaves and toxic sap, it was also flowering.
I suspect the tiny hooks and pollen got under my contact lens and also that my respiratory system got totally overloaded .
After this incident, I would sniffle just going into the garden for the next 2 weeks after it happened (march 2018UK). Something had changed in my body. The iritis cleared with drops within a few weeks and I thought it was a one off.
I was chest Xrayed and tested negative for all the usual associated diseases only thing was I was positive for HL27.
I now have got iritis mildly since this episode 3 times since inside 12 month window in that same left eye.
I never had allergies to dust or pollen before this. Nor do my parents and brother have pollen allergies (although my mum a brother have had issues with Psoriasis made worse my eating sugary food Hl B27?)
The 2nd time was when I mowed the lawn on a ride on tractor mower with the collector basket removed, after returning from holiday in October. I was blowing grass everywhere to dry it out , and have a large lawn.
This Iritis was instant after that mowing session, but much milder than the first time..But after it cleared with steroid drops, I noticed my eye would water in the morning waking up and it would be a tiny bit bloodshot for a few months as if there was now underlying inflammation / allergies.
However this redness would clear very fast with 10mins of waking and showering.
A third time I got Iritis (even more mildly) was day one returning to work after Christmas. What what now I think was due to a tonne of stress that had been building over a few months. I was dreading about having to annouce some HR structural changes in my team, and I had unexpressed feelings about how it would also affect my career. The stress was in my subconscious as looking back I did not know I was stressed at the time.
I felt very fatigued that day and saw I had mild iritis.
I self administer 2 steroid drops a day I had left. Redness cleared within a week,
However my eye watered in the morning off and on for months. The stressful period continued at work from Jan 2019 till March 2019. I had bouts of fatigue now and then. This stress peaked when I noticed how worn out I looked and I also had , tingling burn sensations in palms, arms, legs , toes eading up to the work structural change. This disappeared with a week when that was over . (Also the Iritis stressed me out and I thought the tingling in my arms etc was something more serious). Strangely I noticed the roots of a wart on my thumb appearing which had been gone since I was 15! My immune system was really done in due to stress.
The 4th time: April 2019 : Again in my garden during a Huge Pollen bomb event that was warned about on the news. (April 2019) I did not know about this and was outside at the time. oh no!! At the same time a flowering branch of Budlea rubbed against my head and face.
Upon the branch and flower head touching me --within a what seemed like minutes I felt very tired and ---my eye was bloodshot and instantly painful. I really panicked as though iritis was coming back big time. However all was grand as this was knocked 90% clear with just 2 steroid drops I put in straight away and popped an anti histamine. It was also and pretty clear by the next morning just a tiny bit red and a bit watery .This cleared fully with a week but I kept on for 2 drops a week for 2 weeks .
Now I know that the iritis for me is triggered my pollen either entering my eye , and or being breathed in. I seems all caused by this dreaded massive overloading Vibernum bush event which overloaded and confused my immune system and was warned by months of stress.
My NHS doctors at Iritis occurrence 2, did not believe me about pollen induced iritis.
However one doctor did mention that a few people and children have got iritis from getting fine Caterpillar hairs/hooks in their eyes. This was scanned with Optical tomography an they could be seen in the eye. You would indeed imagine that such an alien organic substance would trigger an immune response in the eye. The Vibernum bush also has many fine hooks along leaf edges, so perhaps there are some silica hooks in my eye still?
Now I always wake up with that eye being very slightly watery eye in morning as if I either have very low level of iritis inflammation remaining or a eye pollen allergy , perhaps both.
Interestingly , When I went to Shanghai China for a week 2nd week back January (no trees but so much pollution that you could not see the sun) my eye did not water, despite getting a sore throat on day one from the bad air pollution.
Also when I went skiing (no trees) my eye also did not water.
I am now stress free.
I still wear contact lenses , this does not seem make anything worse, unless I have been in the garden around pollen. Then I need to wash my lenses or swap them fro fresh ones. Now it seems that going in the garden with all the flowers on the trees is a hazard for me.
If a mow the lawn now i wear a 3M mask and goggles then I'm okay.
I eat super healthy loads of greens, low carbs, almost a vegetarian, and am in good shape age 47.
I have also read on this forum that others have Iritis triggered by pollen, and also wake up with a watery eye that soon clears like me .
I also read from the same pot that taking anti-histamine seems to fix it, so i will test this now. I think there are also non steroidal and histamine eye drops that you can use.
I am now looking for methods to de-sensitise my body from pollen altogether. I read a science paper on dissolving pollen particles under the tongue in tablet form, can gradually re-learn the immune system, so will investigate further and also consult a good immunologist.
I really believe with allergies, that a background stress to the body loads the gun…. but a dust/pollen/overload whilst under this stress pulls the trigger.
Would be highly grateful from others that have had similar types of triggers. Thanks so much for reading Stephen
Pollen induced iritis
Post here to exchange iritis general information and support with others.
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