The Alkalol Allergen Guide: Grass Pollens

Grass pollen is a leading cause of summer allergy symptoms

Outdoor allergens – like pollens and mold spores – can be difficult to manage. It becomes even harder during the summer months when you’re spending as much time outside as possible.

To identify what’s igniting those seasonal allergy flareups, we’ve created The Alkalol Allergen Guide, a series of blog posts we’re rolling out over the next few weeks to explain the most common outdoor allergens with tips on how to limit your exposure and control your symptoms.

If you missed Part 1 (Tree Pollens), you can read it here.

Alkalol Allergen No. 2: Grass Pollens

Grass pollen is the chief source of late spring and early summer allergies. Grass pollen season in the southern region of United States starts as early as March and continues through October. In the North, the season stretches from May to late August. 

There are more then 1,200 species of grass native to North America, but only a small number are known to cause allergic reactions. The top allergen producers are Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, Kentucky bluegrass, redtop grass, orchard grass, timothy grass, and sweet vernal grass.  If you live in the South, be aware that Bermuda and Johnson grasses have the longest seasons, while timothy, sweet vernal, and redtop grasses are particularly strong in the North during the summer months.

Aside from the typical symptoms associated with seasonal allergies (sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion and irritation), contact with grass can result in itching and hives for people who are acutely allergic to grass pollen. 

 Grass pollen tips:

1. Minimize early morning outdoor activity when grass pollen is at its highest – generally between 5-10 a.m.

2. Avoid mowing the lawn and exposure to freshly cut grass.

3. If you have to mow or do yard work for an extended period of time, try wearing a pollen-filtering mask.

4. Keep car windows closed when traveling and home windows shut during peak pollen times.

5. Machine dry clothes and bedding. Pollen can collect if laundry is hung outside to dry.

What solutions have you tried to relieve allergies caused by grass pollen? Please let us know in the comments section below or join the sinus health conversation on Facebook and Twitter.