Effectively Manage Your Grass Allergies

See a Grass Allergy Specialist in St. Louis, MO

Grass allergies are common and since grass pollen is easily carried by the wind, it typically causes nasal and eye symptoms. Learn about grass allergy causes, symptoms, testing, diagnosis, and treatment. Visit board-certified grass allergy specialist Dr. Sonia Cajigal at St. Louis Family Allergy.

“The whole staff are friendly and helpful. Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative, and took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma.”

– Sue D, July 2020

Grass Allergy Doctor Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri
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About Grass Allergy

Grass Allergy Overview
Grass Allergy Symptoms
Grass Allergy Testing
Grass Allergy Treatment
Grass allergies are quite common. When you’re allergic to grass, you’re actually allergic to grass pollen. Compared to other seasonal allergens, exposure to grass pollen can be more prevalent because grass pollen is easily carried in the wind, making it more likely to be inhaled through the mouth or through the nose.

Grass Allergy Types

Not all grass is the same, and being allergic to one type of grass does not necessarily mean that you’re allergic to all types of grass. Some grasses are also more allergenic than others and are more likely to trigger allergic symptoms.

For practical purposes, specific types of grass are commonly referred to as ‘Northern’ grasses or ‘Southern’ grasses. Common Northern grasses included Timothy, Kentucky Blue, Johnson, Orchard, Rye, and Fescue. Common Southern grasses include Bahia, Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine, Sweet Vernal, and Zoysia.

Northern Grass Allergies

  • Fescue grass allergy (very allergenic)
  • Johnson grass allergy
  • Kentucky Blue grass allergy
  • Orchard grass allergy (very allergenic)
  • Rye grass allergy (very allergenic)
  • Timothy grass allergy (very allergenic)

Southern Grass Allergies

  • Bahia grass allergy
  • Bermuda grass allergy (very allergenic)
  • Centipede grass allergy
  • St. Augustine grass allergy
  • Sweet Vernal grass allergy (very allergenic)
  • Zoysia grass allergy

Regardless of the type, grass usually pollinates in the late spring season, between April and early June in Missouri, which is also when the prevalence of grass allergies is at its peak.

Grass Allergy Symptoms

Grass allergy symptoms most commonly consist of nasal symptoms (allergic rhinitis / hay fever) and eye symptoms (allergic conjunctivities). Grass allergy can also trigger asthma symptoms and skin rashes, though skin reactions are rare by comparison.

  • Nasal grass allergy symptoms of grass allergy include runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing, or facial pressure.
  • Asthma symptoms of grass allergy may consist of cough, wheezing, chest congestion, chest tightness, or shortness of breath.
  • Eye grass allergy symptoms of grass allergy include itchiness, watery eyes, or red eyes.
  • Skin rashes from grass allergies, if they occur, tend to present in the form of hives or skin welts.
See an Allergy Specialist

in St. Louis, Missouri

Grass allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

Grass Allergy Testing

Grass allergy testing can be done to get a formal grass allergy diagnosis. Skin prick testing with grass extract is the most common way to confirm a grass allergy, but specific IgE blood testing may also be used.

Grass Allergy Treatment

There are several options available to effectively manage grass allergies. Grass allergy treatment methods include avoidance, over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, and allergy shots. Even new sublingual immunotherapy may have a role in helping you find relief from grass allergies.

Before you start taking any new medications for your grass allergies, we strongly recommend discussing them with your allergist.

Like other allergies, avoidance is an important part of grass allergy management. These tips may help you minimize your grass allergy reactions, even during peak season:

  • Limit time outside during grass pollen peak times: normally worse in the morning or early afternoon and on windy days.
  • Shower and change your clothes when you come inside.
  • Keep lawns and other grasses cut short.
  • Monitor pollen counts and plan activities accordingly.
  • Do not dry clothes outside.
  • Keep doors and windows closed.
  • Wipe pets off after time outside and bathe them frequently.
  • Take off your shoes at the door to avoid tracking grass into the house.
  • Wear an allergy mask when mowing the lawn.
  • Premedicate with an antihistamine and/or corticosteroid spray two hours prior to allergen exposure.

Some individuals may find relief with over-the-counter saline nasal sprays and rinses.

Nasal antihistamine sprays may also provide immediate nasal symptom relief if taken during or after a reaction. Similarly, oral antihistamine pills can help with nasal drainage and sneezing, but they typically do not help with nasal congestion and may not be effective when dealing with more severe allergies.

Prescription oral steroids and steroid injections are more effective than nasal and oral antihistamines, but are typically reserved for more severe allergies due to their potential side effects.

Allergy shots may also be an appropriate treatment choice for your grass allergy. Shots are regularly administered to desensitize your immune system to grass pollen, and while they do not cure allergies, they can greatly reduce and even eliminate allergic reactions.

Sublingual immunotherapy offers similar benefits to allergy shots in that it works by desensitizing your immune system. Fortunately, sublingual immunotherapy is now FDA approved for grass allergies, making it a good option for those who frequently deal with grass allergy symptoms.

Dr. Sonia Cajigal at St. Louis Family Allergy can help you navigate your options and find relief from grass allergies. Get in touch to schedule your visit!

Get Allergy Relief

in St. Louis, Missouri

References

[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: https://acaai.org/
[2] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: https://www.aafa.org/
More Specialties

Asthma

Drug Allergies

Eye Allergies

Food Allergies

Nasal Allergies

Skin Allergies

Allergy Shots

Allergy Testing

Biologic Therapy

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Visit Grass Allergy Specialist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

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Dr. Sonia Cajigal

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St. Louis Family Allergy Google review score badge
"Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative. She took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma."

- Sue D, July 2020

“Dr Cajigal is a great listener. She trusts her patients instead of treating them as if they are not the experts of their own bodies. I really appreciate that (many doctors do not have that quality). She also immediately treats the symptoms instead of waiting to see if things clear. I use her for my children and myself. We have never left her office feeling as if it was a waste of time.”

– Stephanie, August 2020

"Great Allergist!"

- Ann H, December 2018

"She is the best."

- Stephen W, June 2020

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