Well I think I know what caused my cloudy vision last Wednesday. It seems to be an allergic reaction.
Sorry … this is a little long ..
Last week after taking our puppy to her intermediate dog training class at PetSmart my vision became cloudy. I had taken out my contact lenses within minutes of getting home and that’s when I first noticed that my vision was cloudy. It was as if there were a smoky haze in the room. It worsened over the next two or three hours and finally went away sometime the next day. Only to be replaced by a blinding migraine.
I really thought that whatever had caused my symptoms last Wednesday had something to do with my contacts and maybe the makeup I was wearing.
Now I’m pretty sure that it’s something in Petsmart. After all, even though I’m now a dog owner, I am allergic to dogs, cats and birds and there’s plenty of each or at least their dander floating around in Petsmart.
On Wednesday night we had our final Intermediate dog training class. It was graduation time.
The class started at 8:30 and goes on for an hour or more. Often more as our trainer is chatty … So the store closes at 9 pm and our class is still going on. Sometimes other store staff are still around, likely cleaning up.
So on Wednesday night I prepared for our final dog training class as I did all the others. Shower, put contacts in, and by doing my hair and makeup. I must have had a feeling that I would have a problem with my eyes as I made sure that any blogging that needed to be done on Wednesday was finished before we left. Good thing too!
We got to the store about ten minutes early as we needed to buy dog food. By the time our class was about to begin (a few minutes behind) my eyes were already starting to have cloudy vision.
Not only was my vision cloudy, but my eyes felt a bit irritated. I mentioned it to Chris, but I thought I could get through the class, and I did … until close to the end when all hell broke lose as far as eye symptoms go!
Chris and I watched as most of the other dogs in the class went through their paces and performed wait, come – passing food distractions, staying on a bed, standing and then heeling commands. Then it was Midnights turn. By this time I was half blind. I got through it, but my eyes were getting worse. I was probably starting to look like I had a cold.
At the end of the class we were given graduation certificates for our dogs, treats and a graduation cap so that we could take pictures of our furry kids. By this time my eyes were beginning to water and felt really irritated.
After that we exchanged phone numbers with a couple who we’d become friends with in class. They happen to live down the street from us and we keep saying we’ll meet up in the park with our dogs, but it hadn’t happened yet so we figured we’d better exchange numbers and actually plan a future meeting.
My eyes were pouring by this time and my nose was running. I was a mess. We left .. second last to leave. Figures when I’m feeling rotten we stay over time huh?
At that point my eyes were getting worse minute by minute. Tears were streaming down my face. I wasn’t crying … my eyes were just so irritated and had to keep blowing my nose. I swear I went through a box of tissues that night! My eyes also hurt. Light hurt my eyes and cars headlights and street lights bothered them as we drove home.
It hurt if my eyes were open and it hurt even worse when I closed my eyes.
I thought I’d end up in the emergency room. Of course I didn’t want to go since that’s my place of work … yeah I’d likely be seen quickly … especially with eye symptoms as they rarely make people wait when they come in with an acute eye problem … but I didn’t want to go. I promised Chris that I’d go if my eyes weren’t at least a bit better within an hour or so.
We drove home, put Midnight in her crate and I stumbled upstairs to get my contacts out. I was hoping that just taking my contacts out would help, but it didn’t. My eyes continued to get worse. I also took two Benadryl (antihistamines) because by this time I was sure it was an allergic reaction.
The next part of the plan was to leave the house again almost immediately and go to the drug store to see if I could get some eye drops with antihistamine in them. We talked to the pharmacist and she thought that taking the antihistamines (I also take a daily allergy medication as well) and a cold compress on my eyes, and time would probably be enough, but she did say that the Visine Advance Plus Allergy eye drops that one of the staff had offered us might also help.
Unfortunately the Visine allergy drops only made things worse as they stung my eyes like crazy! I never use Visine as it always irritates my eyes and I should have stuck by my instincts and avoided it. Oh well … lesson learned.
My symptoms were still really bad but they were a tiny bit better about an hour after I’d first taken the antihistamines so I decided to stick it out and wait for them to do their job.
Needless to say I spent the rest of the long long night miserable.
I took a total of four Benadryl tablets through the night. I think my nose started to stop running so badly by about 1 a.m. but I could still barely see out of my eyes. I spent most of the night listening to the TV as I couldn’t look at the bright screen without my eyes hurting more and tearing, and I couldn’t manage to fall asleep either.
Finally I fell asleep at around 7 am … on the couch … about half an hour before Chris got up to work and sort of woke me up again. Ugh.
When I got up my eyes were still blurry and my eyelids and even my cheeks were puffy. Luckily light didn’t hurt quite as bad as it had the night before or else I wouldn’t have been able to even take the dog out to pee.
As it stands right now as I write this at 1:30 in the morning my eyes still feel irritated, my eyelids are still swollen and my face still looks a little puffy. My eyelids actually hurt. They feel bruised and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some bruising when the swelling finally goes down. My vision is mostly clear, but occasionally it will blur or get cloudy again.
This was a nasty allergic reaction.
As I said earlier I am allergic to dogs, cats and birds and there’s plenty of those kinds of allergens in a pet store. I also wonder though, since I’ve managed to live with my dog without having any major symptoms (thanks to the regular allergy meds I take) whether there was something else in the air at the store.
Maybe the staff was using a different chemical to clean up on both occasions when my eyes reacted?
Perhaps now that it’s spring there was also a lot of pollen floating around in the store?
Lately I rarely wear my contacts, mostly only when we go to our dog training classes. Maybe I’m allergic to my contacts?
It could be a combination of things that caused my eye allergy. God knows I get weird symptoms when I get sick and the cause is often something unusual … so I’m going with combo allergy for now. I’ll go to see my doctor and likely get allergy tests again soon.
Now I’m kind of afraid to go back in to Petsmart. I mean, a week ago I only had really irritating and worrisome cloudy hazy vision for oh 12 hours after being there for an hour. Then on Wednesday night I had an acute allergic reaction that I’m still recovering from almost 30 hours later.
If it happens again it could be even worse!
Certainly if I go in there again I’ll make sure that I’m not wearing contact lenses as I don’t think they helped the situation at all. I do have an epi-pen (I’m severely allergic to bee stings and a few drugs) so it might be a good idea to be sure to bring that along for my next visit to Petsmart or any other pet store.
I hate allergies. I have more than my share of minor allergies that either don’t really cause many symptoms or that are tolerable since they’re only periodic, and I have some severe, life threatening allergies. Between my allergies, Crohn’s disease, endo and whatever else might be going wrong with my body it seems that my body is determined to attack itself.
Have you had any sudden severe allergic reactions? Reactions to things you’ve been exposed to for several months or years?
I mean this is weird. We’ve been going to Petsmart at least once a week since sometime in December when puppy training classes started as well as regular trips to get supplies. You’d think some symptoms would have occurred before now wouldn’t you?
Actually now that I think of it my nose always runs when I’m there. I’ve taken to stuffing my pockets with tissue before we go … so yeah … maybe my body was giving me some signs.
Me and my tired puffy eyes and face are going to bed. I hope I’m better in the morning and that you’ve had a better week than I have!