For most people, summer means sunshine and outdoor activities with the scent of fresh cut grass in the air. But for those who have grass allergies, warming weather can be less appealing as symptoms flare.
Grass allergy is caused by grass pollen that is spread in the air. Grass pollens begin spreading as early as springtime and winds can carry them for miles. Types of grasses that are more likely to trigger allergies include:
- Redtop grass
- Johnson grass
- Timothy grass
- Rye grass
- Sweet vernal grass
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Orchard grass
- Bermuda grass
Grass Allergy Symptoms
People who have grass allergies may develop allergic rhinitis (commonly referred to as hay fever). Once reaction occurs, the affected person may experience the following symptoms:
Watery, itchy eyes are one of the most common symptoms caused by grass allergy. Eyes may appear red and swollen and excess eye secretions may form a crust on the eyelid. Dark circles, commonly called “allergic shiners,” may also become visible.
Allergic rhinitis commonly includes an itchy nose as well as sneezing and may often result in congestion and post-nasal drip. Another common symptom is a sore throat, which is often accompanied by a dry cough. There are also cases where breathing issues occur – ranging from minor wheezing to asthma attacks.
Managing Grass Allergy
You can attempt to avoid grass allergy to some degree by minimizing exposure to anything that may trigger the allergy. During breezy days, it would be best to close windows to prevent contact with pollen. In some cases where exposure to pollen is inevitable, such as mowing the lawn or gardening, wearing a mask is recommended. If new grass is in the budget, there are even some alternate types of grass that are more “allergy-safe.”
Since grass pollens are airborne, avoidance can be tough. Another option is medication such as antihistamines to minimize symptoms. And finally, an alternate to temporary medications is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy treats the underlying grass allergy—not just its symptoms—through allergy shots or oral drops. If you or your child is allergic to grass pollen, contact AllergyEasy today to schedule a consultation.