Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Sweet Vernal Grass Allergies

Updated
Updated

Sweet Vernal Grass

Kirill Grinenko/Shutterstock.com

Sweet vernal grass can be found in many parts of the U.S. and is often used in lawns thanks to its pleasant, sweet smell. Of course, if you have sweet vernal grass allergies, this smell probably doesn’t have a pleasant association for you. Fortunately, sweet vernal grass allergies can be managed and even treated.

Wyndly can help you treat your sweet vernal grass allergies and find long-term relief. Set up a consultation with Wyndly today for more information, or read on to learn more about sweet vernal grass allergies.

Common Symptoms

There are several common symptoms that can be caused by sweet vernal grass allergies.

You may experience one or more of the following symptoms if you’re allergic to sweet vernal grass:

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

Your symptoms can range from mild to severe when allergy season starts. Typically, symptoms will worsen when there is a high pollen count.

Where Is Sweet Vernal Grass Found?

Sweet vernal grass can be found in nearly every state. There are certain states where it is rare, but they’re in the minority. It is primarily found in pastures, lawns, and along the side of the road. Its popularity as a lawn grass can make allergy season particularly difficult for allergy sufferers living in residential areas where it’s being used. Grass pollen is very light and can travel for miles, so it is a hard allergen to avoid.

U.S. Allergen Zone Map

When Is Sweet Vernal Grass Pollen Allergy Season?

Sweet vernal grass pollen allergy season typically happens in summer, as with most grass pollen, but certain areas of the country will start sweet vernal grass season in spring. Usually, you can expect sweet vernal grass season to start around May or June and taper off by August. It isn’t unheard of for the allergy season to start as early as April. When sweet vernal grass allergy season is peaking, that is when your symptoms will likely be at their worst.

Foods to Avoid

If you have grass allergies, you may also experience an allergy symptom known as OAS or oral allergy syndrome. Oral allergy syndrome is caused by the immune system confusing proteins in certain foods for the proteins found in pollen.

If you have sweet vernal grass allergies, here are some of the foods you may want to avoid:

  • Melon
  • Banana
  • Pineapple
  • Zucchini
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Watermelon
  • Persimmon

While this list is not comprehensive, it gives you an idea of some of the foods that can bring on OAS. When you do have OAS, it will typically present as an itchy or tingly mouth before quickly subsiding. If you do have a more severe reaction, seek emergency medical attention.

Testing and Diagnosis

Identifying sweet vernal grass as the source of your grass allergies can be helpful for avoiding your allergen and getting effective treatment. Since sweet vernal grass pollen season intersects with other pollen seasons, it can be difficult to determine if it is causing your allergies. An allergy test will let you know for sure. Wyndly makes allergy testing easy with our at-home allergy tests. There are no doctor’s visits or uncomfortable testing methods required. If you need an allergy test, order your at-home test from Wyndly today.

Let’s get into 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, and 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 discomfort by getting an at-home test.

Modern and Efficient At-Home Method

  1. Get 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 your personalized 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 to treat your symptoms.

    Treatment and Remedies

    After you’ve identified sweet vernal grass as the cause of your allergies, you’ll want to take steps to manage or treat your symptoms. There are several remedies and treatments you may find effective.

    Limiting Exposure

    The first step for managing allergy symptoms is reducing exposure to your primary allergen. Airborne allergens are especially hard to avoid, but there are certain steps you can take to keep exposure to a minimum.

    • Check the pollen count: It’s a good idea to check the pollen count in the morning to see how bad your allergies might be. If the pollen count is high, try to stay inside as much as possible that day.
    • Wear a mask, hat, and/or sunglasses: If you do need to go outside on a high pollen count day, it’s a good idea to wear an N95 mask, a hat, and sunglasses. This can help keep you from breathing in pollen and getting it in your eyes.
    • Take shoes off: Take your shoes off when you get home so you don’t track in pollen.
    • Wipe pets off: Your pets can easily track in grass pollen too. Be sure to wipe off their fur and paws with a towel when they come in from outside.
    • Mow the lawn often: Shorter grass doesn’t release as much pollen. If you mow your lawn regularly, the grass pollen levels in your immediate area should decrease.
    • Change your lawn: If you really want to reduce sweet vernal grass pollen, you could change your lawn to a different grass species or turf.
    • Clean yourself and your home: Make sure to clean frequently during allergy season. This means vacuuming regularly with a HEPA filter vacuum and dusting off hard surfaces with a wet rag. You should also rinse yourself off after being outside to get pollen off your hair and skin. Washing your face and hands well can also be helpful if you don’t want to take a full shower.
    • Avoid being outside on dry, windy days: Watch out for dry and windy days, as this is when pollen can travel the best. Your allergies may be worse on dry and windy days.
    • Keep windows closed: Don’t let pollen get in through your windows during allergy season. Keep your windows closed and run the A/C instead.

    Medications

    Limiting your exposure can be helpful, but it’s seldom enough to curb symptoms completely during allergy season. You may need allergy medications to help you manage and get through the peak of allergy season. There are several allergy medications you might want to try.

    • Over-the-counter medications: The first course of action for allergy medications will usually be over-the-counter. These medications are widely available and can help manage a variety of common symptoms.
      • Antihistamines: Antihistamines work by temporarily blocking the production of histamine, a chemical that contributes to allergy symptoms. Antihistamines are available in non-drowsy formulas and options for children.
      • Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays are best for allergy symptoms like congestion and runny nose. These sprays work by reducing inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages, providing short-term relief.
      • Eye drops: Eye drops are good for itchy and watery eyes. They can flush pollen out of the eyes, providing some relief.
    • Prescription: If OTC allergy medications aren’t working, prescription medications could be another possible route. You’ll need to consult your doctor to see if this is the right choice for you.

    Sublingual Immunotherapy

    Instead of just managing your symptoms in the short term, you can treat symptoms at their source with immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses small, gradually increasing doses of your allergen to retrain your immune system to ignore or tolerate these substances. Immunotherapy can be administered with shots or with drops, which is known as sublingual immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy is just as effective as shots and doesn’t require painful needles or trips to the doctor for your doses.

    Get Long-Term Relief With Wyndly

    If you want to find long-term relief from your sweet vernal grass allergies, let Wyndly help. Our doctors can create a personalized allergy treatment plan for your allergens. Schedule your allergy consultation today to see how Wyndly can help you live an allergy-free life.

    Sweet Vernal Grass FAQs

    Here are some frequently asked questions about sweet vernal grass pollen.

    If I’m allergic to sweet vernal grass, am I allergic to all grass pollen?

    Sweet vernal grass can be cross-reactive with other types of pollen, but you won’t necessarily be allergic to all types of grass. You may just be allergic to sweet vernal grass.

    Can I move to a state without sweet vernal grass?

    There are states that rarely grow sweet vernal grass, but generally, managing or treating symptoms is easier.

    Does mowing my lawn help with grass allergies?

    Mowing your lawn can help reduce the amount of pollen grass produces, which may provide some level of relief.

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