Grass Pollen Allergy
A grass pollen allergy can be difficult to prevent because it is regional as well as seasonal. Since pollen levels can be affected by temperature, time of day, and precipitation, it is also more difficult to use avoidance as a prevention method. This allergy is perceived to be extremely common, but only a small percentage of the grasses grown in North America actually causes allergies.
As with tree pollen (see Tree Pollen Allergy), grass pollen is both regional and seasonal. In addition, grass pollen levels can be affected by temperature, time of day, and rain.
Of the 1,200 species of grass that grow in North America, only a small percentage of these cause allergies. The most common grasses that can cause a grass pollen allergy are:
- Bermuda grass
- Johnson grass
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Orchard grass
- Sweet vernal grass
- Timothy grass.
If you have an allergy to grass pollen, you may find the following preventive strategies helpful:
- If you have a grass lawn, have someone else do the mowing. If you must mow the lawn yourself, wear a mask.
- Keep grass cut short.
- Choose ground covers that don't produce much pollen, such as Irish moss, bunch, and dichondra.
- Avoid the outdoors between 5:00 and 10:00 a.m. Save outside activities for late afternoon or after a heavy rain, when pollen levels are lower.
- Keep windows in your home and car closed to lower exposure to pollen. To keep cool, use air conditioners, and avoid using window and attic fans.
- Be aware that pollen can also be transported indoors on people and pets.
- Dry your clothes in an automatic dryer rather than hanging them outside. Otherwise, pollen can collect on clothing and be carried indoors.