Home > Causes > Grass Pollen

Grass Pollen

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 17 May 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Grass Pollen Hay Fever Tree Summer

While tree pollen tends to cause hay fever in the early spring months, grass pollen is the main trigger for hay fever in the earlier summer months. Overall, grass pollen is the top offender for hay fever sufferers and the majority will be sensitive to grass pollen, although it varies depending on which country you live in. For those located in Britain, grass pollen is the common cause of hay fever symptoms. In particular, perennial rye and timothy grass are the main culprits.

How does Grass Pollen cause Hay Fever Symptoms

Generally, grass pollen is picked up by the wind, where it is blown into our eyes, ears and nose. People who are sensitive to grass pollen will have an immune reaction, where they produce a chemical called histamine in response. The reaction is essentially a chain one; once the pollen is blown into the nose, cells release histamine, which encourages other cells to follow suit. Other chemicals that contribute to the allergic response are prostaglandin and leukotrienes. This results in the characteristic hay fever symptoms such as watery and bloodshot eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and an irritated throat.

Grass pollen itself varies both seasonally and geographically. It's also affected by temperature, rain and as with other pollen bearers, the time of day. Despite the thousands of grass varieties, the number that actually causes hay fever symptoms is quite small.

Diagnosis

Statistically, it's likely that your hay fever symptoms will, in part, result from exposure to grass pollen. Your doctor will, however, probably still conduct allergy testing to confirm that grass pollen is a cause of your symptoms and he or she will check for an allergic response to other common allergens as well.

Treating Hay Fever Triggered by Grass Pollen

Hay fever treatment is generally the same regardless of the irritant. The first line of defence is to minimise contact with the allergen. For those who are allergic to grass pollen, avoiding time outside when pollen counts are high-usually in the early morning and evening-can be helpful.

Medications to treat hay fever caused by grass pollen will often include antihistamines, decongestants, anti-inflammatory drugs or immunotherapy. With immunotherapy, a controlled exposure to the allergen is performed, which is meant to build up the body's resistance. Grass pollen immunotherapy is usually not performed unless medications have proven unsuccessful. If you also suffer from asthma, grass pollen immunotherapy isn't usually recommended because it can trigger asthma attacks.

The important thing to remember is that a grass pollen allergy must be treated, because if ignored, complications can arise. Common complications include secondary infections of the ears and nose. Although hay fever symptoms resulting from grass pollen can be very debilitating, try to remember that you're not alone. Many people suffer from the same allergic reaction to grass pollen.

Due to the prevalence of hay fever, it is widely recognised in the medical community for the challenging and distressing condition that it is. There are many treatments available and once you have received a proper diagnosis from your doctor, you can find a manageable plan that allows you to avoid grass pollen whenever possible and treat symptoms as they occur.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • John
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I get itchy and swollen eyelids every time I open a window facing a 20ft Hawthorne hedge. Extremely bad between June and September. Trouble is that…
    3 August 2019
  • Freddie
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I’ve suffered from stuffy nose and dreadful aches during the summer months, for years. After walking, being in the countryside, even in late summer,…
    7 July 2019
  • Mr.Max
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I use natural nasal barriers and they have worked extremely well but I still feel I could do with another treatment. Is there anything you could recommend?
    10 June 2019
  • Cazhug
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I suffer from silent migraines and have only just made a possible connection to birch tree pollen. I’m worst from end Mar to end May with weekly…
    5 June 2019
  • sherryerhard
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    I have had asthma my whole life but about 5 years ago my asthma got so bad and I was diagnosed with emphysema/COPD which was most…
    1 June 2019
  • Gayegaye
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I find the May makes me extremely Ill. Its flowers are so pungent they stink. It's a beautiful tree especially when it's in full blossom but there's no…
    23 May 2019
  • derek rooney
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    I had COPD for 9 years. My first symptoms were dry cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath. My first chest x-ray only showed…
    14 May 2019
  • Janet Linnekin
    Re: Hay Fever And Your Lungs
    I was introduced to RICH HERBS FOUNDATION (ww w. richherbsfoundation. c om) and their successful COPD Herbal Formula protocol 10 months…
    30 April 2019
  • rathers
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I get extremely itchy eyes from mid January to April. No other symptoms . This has been going on for years and no one seems able to help
    14 February 2019
  • HayfeverExpert
    Re: Tree Pollen
    AngieB - Your Question:I’ve only just made the link between my symptoms and a possible pollen allergy. I’ve been having itchy skin since March with int
    3 July 2018