Is the great outdoors cramping your health this summer? It may be allergy—specifically grass allergy. Grass pollens strike from late spring through early to mid-summer. There are many kinds of grass, but only some of them cause allergies.
The most allergenic grasses include:
• Kentucky Blue June Grass
• Reed Canary
• Sweet Vernal
Grass pollens can cause sneezing, rhinitis (stuffed-up or runny nose, post-nasal drip), asthma, rash, or swollen, red, itchy eyes.
Here are a few ideas for steering clear of grass allergens. First, be cautious of your surroundings. If you know that you will have heavy exposure to grass through your day’s activities, consider taking an antihistamine before leaving the house. You can also change clothes after outdoor activities to minimize your exposure to pollens that may have collected on the fabric.
Not sure if your outdoor activities will expose you to pollens? Find out by researching online. You can visit websites like pollen.com or weather.com to find out expected pollen counts for any given area.
Keep your lawn short (less than two inches is optimal) as lawn pollinates when it gets longer. And if grass pollens make you miserable, outsource the mowing or wear a mask. You can also plant less-allergenic grasses in your yard, too, such as turf grasses that release little to no pollen
See an allergy doctor if your grass allergies are compromising your quality of life. A few weeks of discomfort is one thing, but if you’re facing prolonged misery due to grass allergies, a doctor may be able to prescribe allergy treatment through medications, steroids, or immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is available through allergy shots or through sublingual immunotherapy (under-the-tongue allergy drops or allergy pills that help desensitize the body long-term to grass allergens).