K.F. a19 y/o male, with history of atopy (food/drug allergy, atopic dermatitis, asthma and or rhinitis) developed conjunctivitis (without cough or rhinitis) on the third month of exposure to an enviroment of dust from sieving of grounded flaxseeds (imported brown organic Canadian Flaxseeds). Exposure to this dust caused severe itching and tearing with prominent development of "red eyes" quickly after begining of exposure with complaints abating during weekends. Due to eye scratching he also developed significant palpebral edema and purulent discharge.
Prick skin Testing (H-S Lancetter, results read at 15 minutes, with positive and negative controls) with a panel of 20 inhalant and food allergens (Diater Labs,Argentina) was performed.
Commercial Allergens were found negative at 10 minutes reading (0 mm papule/0 mm erythema) for inhalants such as: mites, blomia t epithelia, grass pollen, shellfish, fish mix and coconut; only positive finding was to mold mix (5 mm papule/10 mm erythema). Prick to Prick skin (PtP) testing to a solution of flaxseed: 1 gram of flaxseed brought by patient from work place/1 mL of phenol saline, was positive at 20 minutes (papule 12 mm/erythema 25 mm). This same solution was applied to 5 controls (with no symtomps after ingestion of esposure to flaxseed) and found negative.
Patient improved with use of goggles and removal from sieving area, remaining free of symtomps, as of today. Patient refused mucosal/oral challenge with a solution of flaxseed or other allergy diagnostic procedures. Though PtP skin testing may suggest a possible IgE mediated reaction.
Unable to be confirmed by other means (challenge, IgE intears for flaxseed, etc); this is-to our knowledge- the first case of isolated conjunctivitis from exposure to flaxseed sieved dust. Flaxseed Allergy, in spite of its wide spread used and human consumption (mainly as dietary fiber) has been infrequently reported, with occasional cases of anaphylaxis.
We report a case of isolated conjunctivitis on exposure to dust from sievings of ground flaxseed.