Updated: May 14
Grass pollen allergy is one of the most common causes of allergy symptoms. Grass pollen allergy is also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever. This affects 10 to 30% of children and adults in the U.S.
Grass causes most late spring and summer pollen allergy symptoms from April through early June.1 But in warmer parts of the country, it can be found year-round. It can sometimes overlap with tree pollen and weed pollen seasons.
Grass pollen is light and easily carried by the wind. So even if you aren’t allergic to the grass near your home, you could still come into contact with grass pollen from other locations.
Symptoms Of Grass Pollen
If you have a grass pollen allergy, you will only have symptoms when the pollen you are allergic to is in the air. Symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis include:
Runny nose (also known as rhinorrhea – this is typically a clear, thin nasal discharge)
Stuffy nose (due to blockage or nasal congestion – one of the most common and troublesome symptoms)
Postnasal drip (mucus runs from the back of your nose down your throat)
Sneezing (sometimes uncontrollable, repeating episodes that can be severe)
Itchy nose, eyes, ears, and mouth
Red and watery eyes
Swelling around the eyes
Moody and irritable
If you have asthma and are allergic to grass pollen, you may have allergic asthma. This means grass pollen triggers your asthma symptoms.
Types Of Grasses That Trigger Allergies The Most
There are hundreds of types of grasses, but only a few cause allergy symptoms. Your location may determine which grasses may cause your symptoms.
The most common grasses that cause allergies are:
Bermuda – very allergenic
Fescue – very allergenic
Orchard – very allergenic
Rye – very allergenic
Sweet vernal – very allergenic
Timothy – very allergenic
If it seems like grass pollen season is more intense and lasts longer than it used to, you aren’t imagining it.
Grass Pollen Allergy Treatment
There is no cure for a grass pollen allergy, but you can manage it. There are many allergy treatment options to help you. Here are some steps to managing your grass pollen allergy:
Talk with your doctor and get a valid allergy test to confirm your allergies or to rule out allergies. Skin prick testing is done by an allergist. This test adds a small amount of the allergen to your skin and pricks the surface of your skin. The allergist then assesses your immune reaction. An allergist or primary care provider may order a blood test known as a specific immunoglobulin (IgE) allergy test. This testing also assesses your immune reaction to common allergens such as grass pollen.
Track the pollen count for your area. The local news often reports the type of pollen and count for your area, especially when pollen is high. You also can check for your area’s pollen counts from the National Allergy Bureau.
Stay indoors with central air conditioning when the pollen count is high, if possible. Get CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® air filter for your air conditioner. If you don’t have air conditioning to stay cool, try to keep your windows and doors closed during high pollen days and hours. During grass pollen season, the grass starts releasing pollen in the morning and it peaks in the midday or afternoon.
Prevent pollen from being tracked into your home. If you spend a lot of time outside during peak pollen time:
Take your shoes off outside
Don’t wear your “outside” clothes to bed
Cover your hair when outside or wash it at night
Wipe off pets before they enter your home
Consider taking a shower when coming indoors after being outdoors for a significant period of time
Take allergy medicines and start treatment before the grass pollen season starts in your area. Find out what time of year grass pollen starts to appear in your area so you can start allergy treatment at least two weeks before pollen season begins. Many over-the-counter medicines work well to control pollen allergy symptoms. They can also help with eye, nose, and airway symptoms.
Fresh Air Matters
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