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The Pollen Section

When Grass Attacks

Grass Allergy: How to Cope

Grass is hard to escape. Whether it’s your neighbors’ lawn, the field where your daughter plays soccer or that empty lot with the tall blades blowing in the wind – it’s everywhere. The type of grass is hardly relevant: if you’re allergic to one kind, you’re likely allergic to every grass, as the species cross-react.

But, there are a few ways you can protect yourself:

• First, when indoors, keep your windows closed. Draw blinds or curtains and use fans and sometimes air conditioning to keep your home cool. If you’re protected indoors, you’re protected for much of the day.

• Avoid being the person who cuts the grass in the pollinating months of May through July. The lawn mower kicks up the pollen and sends it into your eyes and nose. If it’s only grass allergy you’re contending with, you may be fine to mow the lawn in other months.

Kim notes however, that “often patients will have allergy symptoms with fresh cut grass in August or September. That’s not grass pollen allergy, that may be mold allergy from the molds being stirred up.”

As well, Stark cautions that the dust the lawn mower creates while it’s trimming can get into your nasal passages like pollen, and also cause symptoms.

• That said, it’s good to keep your lawn short, to keep pollen production to a minimum. Get someone else to do the mowing during in the early months of summer. If there isn’t anyone else to do it, take an antihistamine first, and wear a mask.

Next: Medication Relief for Grass Allergy

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Allergic Living acknowledges the assistance of the OMDC Magazine Fund, an initative of the Ontario Media Development Cooperation.