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Allergies

Allergy to metal in eyeglasses?

01/09/2008

Question:

I wear glasses all day (im near sighted) i bought two pair of glasses and wore one pair because they were more comfortable about 90 percent of the time. a year later i started itching on my ear and thought nothing of it..it got got agravating then worse... then my other ear started with the same symptoms...i figured it was my glases by then and switched to the almost unused pair because the paint covering was coming off of the others i noticed.. well now i have these covered with bandaids and it has dramatically decreased the amout of itchiness.. it`s cracked and sore and still itches...how can i get it to finish going away!!! ive tried moisturizers and hydrocortisone(maybe not enough)my mom developed metal allergies after my siblings and i were born..guess i have done the same... thank you for any imput or help you can give...

Answer:

It sounds like you may have developed a contact dermatitis.  This can be confirmed by patch testing to a variety of common sensitizing agents.  In the meantime, I would avoid these glasses and get a non-metal pair.  It sounds like you may need a higher potency topical corticosteroid cream/ointment; if it is very severe occasionally a short course of prednisone (a corticosteroid) is required.  I would see your physician or a qualified allergist/immunologist with experience in evaluation and treatment of contact dermatitis. 

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Response by:

Jonathan   Bernstein, MD Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati