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I have been suffering with hay fever symptoms since the summer and asked the doctor whether I could develop it at 35 which he replied "yes" well it had been driving me flipping crazy never had such itchy eyes in my life.
Anyway I asked the question of what else could it be and had a few responses and one believe it or not was wool. I googled it ofcourse and to my amazement you can actually have a reaction to wool and sitting back and thinking about it the problems started at roughly the same time as I started knitting, so did a test I had one night off from knitting and no problems what do ever and so I knitted last night and tonight and boy my eyes yet again are so sore and itchy, so my mystery has been solved I react to wool lol, anyone else have this problem?
Teresa x
 

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Lots of us have that problem. Mine only happens with pure wool. If there is a mix of manmade fibers with the wool my allergies don't act up as much.
 

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grandmasue, They would probably help with the problem, but would create a new one...How do you stay awake?
 

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I have had indoor allergies for many years. I take over the counter allergy medicine every day. If it doesn't make you sleepy, the medicine usually doesn't help, which is why you take it at night. Plus, the allergy eye drops work well, if you don't wear contacts (you can still use them when you're not wearing or planning to wear contact lenses). Nasalcrom nasal spray works well, if you use it every day, and it takes about 2 weeks to start working. I like the store brand of Zyrtec in pill form.

Here's a weird allergic reaction. I was using musty yarn from an ancient stash, and it gave me nosebleeds.
 

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I get like that when I use Bernat Baby Bulky yarn. It seems to have little bits of fiber that break off as I am knitting and float around and land on my skin and in my eyes causing vision problems and itchy watery eyes and itchy skin. Won't use that for making any more baby blankets, wouldn't want any little one to have a bad reaction because of that.
 

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From my earliest memories, I reacted to wool. Not great since all my winter garb - from undies to mittens and including blankets - was only wool back then. However, menopause changed all that! Now I can knit with wool, wear wool, LOVE WOOL! I still work most often with acrylic, just because it's the major portion of my stash.

IF you're lucky, the same transformation will take place when you hit menopause! In the meantime, be thankful there are so many non-wool yarn choices today!
 

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I have the same issue. I react to different yarns and blends. I okay with most acrylics, however I have found a few that affect my eyes. I am usually okay with wool blends more so than when knitting with 100% wool. I have less of a reaction from wool that is mercerized or shows on the label that is can be machine washed rather than wool that has to be hand washed. Projects where the yarn makes my eyes itchy take much longer to make because I only knit a short period of time before changing to another project.
 

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I'm not allergic to wool - however, if I do not blink often enough, dry eye *does* itch!

Whether looking at a computer monitor or doing handwork, your eyes must blink - and if wearing magnifier glasses, it is important to look up and out at something in the distance - for a couple of minutes every 20-30 minutes.

The blinking is what helps the liquid in your eyes to lubricate them.

"Dry Eye" does most definitely itch!!
 

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I had this once when taking part in a large community project making a stitched tapestry using appletons wools. So no choice either give up or solve problem.
Solved problem with lightweight DIY mask like carpenters mask over nose and mouth. Bit weird at first but soon got used to it. Each time I finished a session would look at the mask and you could see all fibres attached to it that I would otherwise have breathed in.
( Google fishguard invasion tapestry well worth a quick look)
 

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PS did not have the skin reaction jujee, that is a bit different that is an allergy to the proteins in the wool. Like the original lady had a a reaction to breathing in the fibres. Things like house dust have the same effect on me but not so much.
 

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On my 32 birthday I broke out in severe hives. I thought it was the wool and stopped using it. Flu like symptoms did not go away so I went back to knitting with wool. Had an allergy test done and founf out that I am allergic to caffeine. I drink a lot of coffee so now I have headaches instead of hives. But now I can finish my hats.
 

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Gitto36 said:
I have been suffering with hay fever symptoms since the summer and asked the doctor whether I could develop it at 35 which he replied "yes" well it had been driving me flipping crazy never had such itchy eyes in my life.
Anyway I asked the question of what else could it be and had a few responses and one believe it or not was wool. I googled it ofcourse and to my amazement you can actually have a reaction to wool and sitting back and thinking about it the problems started at roughly the same time as I started knitting, so did a test I had one night off from knitting and no problems what do ever and so I knitted last night and tonight and boy my eyes yet again are so sore and itchy, so my mystery has been solved I react to wool lol, anyone else have this problem?
Teresa x
I get rashes from wool and asthma attacks. Running nose sometimes.

Try knitting with viscose. Just viscose, sleek, no additives. It could do the trick. But rest a few days with no yarn so that you could distinguish the states you are in. Or mulberry silk.

Kati
 

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That's too bad! Sorry to hear you are suffering. I have had itchy eyes most of my life so I feel for you. Luckily for you there are so many beautiful acrylic, cotton blend and other fibers out there. Don't make yourself miserable trying to live up to the "fiber snobs" who insist you're nothing if not using wool or hair of some kind. Knit with something you can tolerate and enjoy the process.
 

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lizmaxwell said:
I had this once when taking part in a large community project making a stitched tapestry using appletons wools. So no choice either give up or solve problem.
Solved problem with lightweight DIY mask like carpenters mask over nose and mouth. Bit weird at first but soon got used to it. Each time I finished a session would look at the mask and you could see all fibres attached to it that I would otherwise have breathed in.
( Google fishguard invasion tapestry well worth a quick look)
http://www.fishguardartssociety.org.uk/The%20Last%20Invasion%20Tapestry.html Too bad they don't have an enlargement to look at! Two years! Wow! Kudos!
 
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