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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.

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Latest Comments
  • Andrew
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I have been effected by tree pollen for years and so I know the signs. This year highlights the confusion for those who do not know about tree pollen…
    29 March 2020
  • Paul
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I forgot to add, I get these symptoms in the house too. Apologies for the typing issues in my earlier post. I am typing this from an I phone. Paul
    22 March 2020
  • Paul
    Re: Tree Pollen
    Hi all, I have enjoyed reading your comments. With interest. We have a very large oak near to the front of the property, a very large tree outside of,…
    22 March 2020
  • Andrea
    Re: Tree Pollen
    My husband has a dry tickly cough and with the COVID 19 we are self isolating. I have post nasal drip, so constantly swallowing, a fullness in my head,…
    21 March 2020
  • Strontium
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I also suffer with tree pollen allergy. You need to modify your diet. Food and drink are a massive contributor to your body's histamine levels.…
    16 March 2020
  • kmac
    Re: Tree Pollen
    pgm - I am in the same boat. Always suffered from hay fever, but usually just itchy eyes and the tiredness. Last year in March the tree pollen made me…
    15 March 2020
  • Pgm
    Re: Tree Pollen
    I usually get tree pollen allergy between late March and end of May. This year it has started early with itchy throat and eyes and a tendency to cough.…
    13 March 2020
  • satya
    Re: Hayfever Eye Care
    since last 3 years have developed pollen allergy, red tomatto red eyes ,running nose and what not, i stay in india gujarat and dont know how to…
    2 March 2020
  • Lilo
    Re: Tree Pollen
    My son now 13 suffered from really bad tree and grass pollen induced hayfever and also Asthma. He is now in the second year of self funded oral…
    23 February 2020
  • Amy
    Re: Tree Pollen
    Last year suggested with hay fever for first time. I sneeze a lot and get really itchy ears and sometimes itchy eyes. When it gets really bad also…
    8 February 2020