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Grass Allergy: The Signs and Symptoms

Do You Have a Grass Allergy?

A Grass allergy, or allergy to grass pollen, is one of the most common seasonal allergies.  Still, many people who have grass allergies do not realize it or mistakenly think that they are being affected by a different allergen. Here is a list of the signs and symptoms of having a grass allergy and how to prevent and treat it.

Facts about Grass and Grass Pollen

Grass begins to pollinate in early spring and continues its pollination cycle until late summer. Grass pollen grains are spread by the wind and, as they travel, can be inhaled by people and animals. The grass pollen count tends to be quite high in the early morning hours and after it rains. In addition, people with grass pollen allergies are often affected on extremely windy days.

Signs and Symptoms

Eye Irritation

Often it is common for those with grass pollen allergies to have itchy, watery, and inflamed eyes. In addition, they may also experience inflamed eyelids and dark circles under their eyes known as “allergic shiners.”

Skin Rash or Irritation

Those who are allergic to grass may break out into a rash or hives when they come into contact with grass or grass clippings.

Respiratory Issues

Nasal and chest congestion are not uncommon for those experiencing a grass pollen allergic reaction. Because of the post nasal drip, a sore throat usually accompanies these symptoms, along with a severe dry cough. Also, allergy sufferers may experience breathing problems due to the bronchial tubes becoming inflamed. Symptoms of this can range from wheezing to a severe asthma attack.

Headache

Allergy sufferers often experience headaches due to sinus pain and pressure.

General Feelings of Illness

Those with grass allergies may feel extremely ill throughout the grass pollination time frame. Fatigue, nausea, and even a lack of appetite have been attributed to severe grass allergies.

Ways to Treat and Avoid Allergic Reactions to Grass

  • If you have a grass allergy, you should avoid yard work, especially in the morning hours or else wear a mask while you are doing chores in the yard.
  • You should not mow the lawn, and you should keep all windows and doors closed while someone else is doing the mowing.
  • Cool your home with an air conditioner, preferably one with a filter that will remove any grass pollen from the air, instead of opening the windows.
  • Dust and vacuum your home and car frequently.
  • If you have been outside for long periods, you should take off your clothes when you come home and wash them to remove the pollen that has collected on them.
  • Additionally, you should take a shower and wash your hair immediately to get the pollen off of yourself.
  • Remember this goes double for any cats and dogs in your home that could track in pollen – be sure to bathe them more frequently and wipe down their fur to avoid them tracking pollen into the home.
  • Try to wear cool but long pants if you are going to do yard work or play with your children in the grass.
  • If you suspect that you have grass allergies, it is best to seek the care of a qualified doctor as soon as possible in order to be correctly diagnosed so you can start taking proper medication.

Antihistamine, nasal sprays, eye drops, and even allergy shots are all effective ways to treat allergic reactions to grass pollen. Which one is right for you or your loved ones depend on the frequency and severity of reactions. Once you discuss this with your doctor, they will be able to go over your treatment options.  And for those who are looking for a few holistic options, you can try taking vitamin C and drinking nettle leaf tea to relieve mild allergic symptoms.

Now that you know the signs and symptoms of being allergic to grass or grass pollen, be sure to take precautions to keep yourself reaction free.  If you have further questions or concerns about having an allergic reaction to grass, please contact Dr. Mayank Shukla so he can discuss your options with you.

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