Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Orchard Grass Allergies

Updated
Updated

Orchard grass is a highly allergenic grass species that can be found in every contiguous U.S. state. The grass can grow to nearly four feet in height and is often called cocksfoot, due to the bunched flowers resembling a rooster’s foot.

Orchard grass pollen is incredibly difficult to avoid, thanks to its widespread nature and how the pollen can travel easily for miles. If you’re suffering from orchard grass allergies, Wyndly can help.

Schedule a consultation to get your personalized allergy treatment plan, or read on to learn more about orchard grass allergies.

Common Symptoms

If you have allergies to orchard grass, there are several common symptoms you may experience, such as one or more of the following:

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Scratchy throat
  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Aggravated symptoms if you have asthma

Your symptoms may be mild, or they can intensify when orchard grass allergy season is peaking.

Where Is Orchard Grass Found?

You can find orchard grass in all 48 contiguous states, and it can be found growing in numerous locations, such as roadsides, meadows, backyards, and fields. It is often used as a grazing grass for livestock.

U.S. Allergen Zone Map

When Is Orchard Grass Pollen Allergy Season?

Orchard grass pollen allergy season runs from mid-April to early August. Orchard grass pollen concentration will usually peak in May and June, making them particularly miserable for allergy sufferers.

Foods to Avoid

Occasionally, you may find that you have an allergic reaction known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS) when you eat certain foods. OAS is your body’s response when your immune system confuses the proteins in grass pollen with similar proteins in raw fruits or vegetables. Though there aren’t foods that correlate specifically to orchard grass, there are certain foods that can cause OAS for grass allergies in general.

These include:

  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons
  • Figs

Oral allergy syndrome symptoms will typically present as an itchy or tingly mouth and throat. These symptoms tend to be mild and subside shortly. However, if you have a more severe allergic reaction to food, where you have swelling or difficulty breathing, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

Testing and Diagnosis

When it comes to grass allergies, it can be almost impossible to determine which type of grass is causing you problems. Most species of grass produce pollen at the same time of year, making it difficult to identify orchard grass as your primary allergen. With an allergy test, you can find out for sure. Wyndly makes it easy to find out your allergy profile with our convenient at-home allergy test. Get your at-home test from Wyndly today.

Let’s examine how different allergy testing options work.

Old-Fashioned Method: Skin Prick Test at Your Doctor’s Office

Skin prick testing requires you to go to the doctor to find out your allergen triggers. It’s often uncomfortable, and it takes time out of your day. You’ll go to the doctor’s office, they’ll administer a test where they prick or scrape your skin with a needle tipped with different allergens, and then they’ll observe the areas they pricked for itchiness, redness, or swelling. All in all, it’s not a pleasant experience. Instead, you can save yourself time and pain by getting an at-home test.

Modern and Efficient At-Home Method

  1. Order Wyndly’s at-home allergy test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
  2. Take the allergy test and send it back to us. Just do a quick finger prick test to provide us with a blood sample and mail it back when you’re done.
  3. Receive your personal allergy profile. Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through a treatment plan.

    Unlike self-diagnosis, an allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way you know exactly what you’re allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms.

    Treatment and Remedies

    While allergies can make allergy season miserable, they’re very manageable. In many cases, you can even treat your orchard grass allergies. There are several the remedies and treatments you may want to try.

    Limiting Exposure

    One of the first remedies most people try is limiting their exposure to pollen. While avoiding orchard grass pollen completely is going to be difficult, certain measures can help reduce your exposure and your symptoms.

    • Check the pollen count daily: The concentration of orchard grass pollen will vary daily. Looking at the pollen count can tell you if the pollen count is high for the day. If it is high, you may want to stay indoors as much as possible that day. Wearing a mask, hat, and sunglasses can help limit your exposure when you do go outside.
    • Keep grass short: Longer grass tends to produce more pollen. Keeping your grass short can help reduce the amount of pollen around your home. If possible, have someone else mow your lawn for you. If you have to mow your lawn, wear a mask and protective glasses to limit your exposure.
    • Keep windows closed: Grass pollen can get in through open windows, so be sure to keep them shut during allergy season. Run your A/C instead, and install a HEPA filter to keep pollen in your home to a minimum.
    • Take your shoes off: Avoid tracking orchard grass pollen by taking off your shoes when you come inside.
    • Vacuum and dust frequently: Using a HEPA filter vacuum and dusting off hard surfaces with a wet rag will help prevent pollen from accumulating in your home.
    • Do laundry often: Grass pollen is sticky and can get on your clothes. Make sure to wash your clothes often during laundry season.
    • Rinse off: If you’ve been outside, try to rinse off in the shower to get pollen off your skin and out of your hair. If you decide not to shower, washing your hands and face well is recommended.
    • Avoid the aforementioned foods: Be sure to avoid grass-related foods.

    Medications

    If limiting exposure isn’t helping to relieve your symptoms, you may want to try allergy medication next.

    Here are some common allergy medications that may help provide short-term relief for your orchard grass allergies:

    • Over-the-counter: Over-the-counter (OTC) allergy meds will be the most widely available allergy management solution for most people. There are non-drowsy options, options for children, and various types of medications.
      • Antihistamines: Antihistamines limit the production of histamine, which contributes to your allergy symptoms. Blocking histamine production temporarily provides relief for several common allergy symptoms.
      • Nasal sprays: If you have a runny or stuffy nose, a nasal spray may be the OTC allergy med you want to try. Nasal sprays reduce swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages.
      • Eye drops: When you get pollen in your eyes, they can get itchy, watery, and red. Eye drops help to flush the pollen out of your eyes.
    • Prescription: If OTC allergy meds aren’t providing any relief, you may want to speak to your doctor about possible prescription options.

    Sublingual Immunotherapy

    Sublingual immunotherapy is a safe and effective option for actually treating allergy symptoms instead of just managing them. Sublingual immunotherapy is a solution for long-term relief. When you introduce your immune system to small, gradually increasing doses of your allergen, it can be retrained to ignore these substances instead of viewing them as a threat and reacting with an allergic response. 

    Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

    If you’re searching for long-term relief from your orchard grass allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors can create a personalized treatment plan designed to address your allergies at their source.

    If you’re a candidate for sublingual immunotherapy, you can have your treatment plan delivered directly to your door. Get your allergy consultation today to see how Wyndly can help you live an allergy-free life.

    Orchard Grass FAQs

    Following are some frequently asked questions about orchard grass.

    If I’m allergic to orchard grass, am I allergic to all grass pollens?

    Having an orchard grass allergy doesn’t mean you’re allergic to all grass species, however, orchard grass can be cross-reactive with various other grass types.

    Can I get rid of the orchard grass in my yard?

    It’s a good idea to cut orchard grass short to reduce the amount of pollen it produces. This may help pollen levels in and around your home, but keep in mind that grass pollen can still travel quite far, so you’ll likely still have some level of exposure.

    Will orchard grass allergies cause me issues in winter?

    It’s unlikely that you’ll have orchard grass allergies in winter. If you’re having allergy symptoms in winter, chances are it’s another culprit.

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