I am glad I found this forum. I have not had anything too terrible, but the last few months have had a few episodes where the area above and below my eyes became puffy or a bit swollen. This happened recently a few times...once after a walk on a very windy day (not sure if this kicked up allergens...the reaction happened the next morning) and another time after I applied some anti-aging serum in the morning. When this happens, my eyes do feel itchy and get red and I sometimes feel some itching (very mild) of the ears, nose, etc. Sometimes I don't get "itchy" until after I go and see that my eyes are puffy and I start to freak out and then I experience the other symptoms.
This morning around 3:30 a.m. I awoke to what felt like a little but bite on my cheek. It got itchy and a little red, but nothing terrible and nothing that I have not had in the past. But due to the extreme anxiety I've been having the last few months, my anxiety levels went into overdrive. I came online and looked up hives to see if that could be what I had. I read about people getting hives on their lips, etc. I swear to you, within just a few minutes, I had a little bump on my upper lip. I've gotten those before and they go away and I never think anything of them (and they do seem to come on when I'm stressed), but because of my intense anxiety right now, that just sent my system into overdrive and I started feeling as if my upper lip was swollen a bit. Nothing drastic, it just looked like it might have been a bit swollen. The thing that is frustrating as well is that these things always happen when my husband is at work and I have nobody to "show" it to to see if I am over reacting out of anxiety or if there is a real concern. The little bump is pretty much gone now but I cannot really tell if my lip is swollen or puffy or not. Sometimes I look at it and it seems it is just a little, other times it looks normal.
I am convinced that it is my anxiety level and stress that is doing this to me. I find it odd that right after reading about hives and people getting them on their lips, that suddenly I had a little bump on my lips and this was hours after I had the little itchy irritation on my cheek. I think the power of our minds if probably overwhelming and can cause us to exhibit the very symptoms we fear.
For me, recently, I was doing a lot of reading on allergic reactions because of hearing a story about someone in my family who was having reactions, and I also started a new job that is stressful for me (though I enjoy it, it's a lot of pressure)...this after being under what I would consider severe, unrelenting stress for about the last 3 years or so. The most stress and character attacks that I have ever been under in my life. Also experiencing the death of someone close in the family this past year. Up until now, though I have struggled with anxiety throughout the years on and off, I have never had it this bad. I have also never had reactions like this before. The only times my eyes would get puffy would be the 2 times in years past that I got pink eye from having a sinus infection. Other than that, I don't normally get allergic type reaction. I do have nasal/sinus allergies, but other than that, none that I know of.
It's really an unpleasant feeling to begin to fear everything and not know what is setting off the reactions. The only things I can come up with is stress. Because there doesn't seem to be any common denominator, other than stress, that is causing this.