Grass Allergy: What You Need to Know

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

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:

Eye Irritation

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.

Nasal/Respiratory Issues

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.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.