Grass pollen: better understand to better protect yourself

grass on a stretch of sand

Today, focus on grasses which are responsible for many allergies in spring in France.

We will help you recognize a grass, the season when you should be wary as well as the symptoms related to its allergy.

You can also find our special file on pollen allergy to find a normal life.

What is grass pollen?

Grass pollens are microspores produced by plants belonging to the grass family. These plants, which include more than 12,000 species, are widespread in our environment.

Grass pollen therefore represents a major source of exposure to allergens for sensitive individuals.

Grasses: a great diversity of species

Some of the most common grasses include the following:
  • Orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata)
  • Red fescue (Festuca rubra)
  • Timothy (Phleum pratense)
  • English ryegrass (Lolium perenne)

It is important to note that some grasses may be more allergenic than others depending on their pollen concentration and the pollination period.

Grass pollen season: when should you be vigilant?

The pollination period of grasses varies according to species and climatic conditions.

As a general rule, it extends from May to July , with a peak of allergies observed between mid-May and mid-June.

High temperatures, strong sunshine and wind promote the dispersion of pollen in the air and thus increase the risk of allergies.

You can discover our article to understand what are the different periods for grass allergies .

grass in the foreground with buildings of a city in the background

Monitor pollen levels to better protect yourself

In order to prevent allergy-related symptoms, it is essential to monitor grass pollen levels throughout the season.

Several organizations and websites offer you regular bulletins which allow you to be informed about the risks incurred in your region: you can in particular go to the site which will allow you to select your department to see the different pollen rates in direct.

Based on this information, it will be easier to adapt your outdoor activities and limit your exposure to pollen.

Symptoms of Grass Pollen Allergy

When you are allergic to grass pollen, several symptoms can appear.

The most common manifestations are those related to allergic rhinitis, such as:

  • Sneezing in bursts
  • Stuffy or runny nose (rhinorrhea)
  • Itchy nose (nasal pruritus)
  • Watery and itchy eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)

Symptoms that can go as far as allergic asthma

In some cases, grass pollen allergy can also cause breathing problems such as coughing, difficulty breathing, or shortness of breath.

These signs may reflect allergic asthma , a condition that requires appropriate medical care.

Do not hesitate to consult if you have any doubts about a possible allergy.

A woman's eye that is irritated from a grass allergy

How to prevent and treat grass pollen allergies?

There is no definitive treatment for allergies, but several measures can be put in place to limit symptoms and improve the quality of life of allergy sufferers.

Avoid exposure to pollens

The first step in preventing allergies is to reduce your exposure to pollen:
  • Stay informed of pollen levels in your area and avoid outdoor activities during peak pollination.
  • Close the windows of your home and vehicle, especially on hot, sunny days.
  • Wash your hands and face regularly to remove pollen particles.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from irritation.
  • Wear a pollution mask that protects against pollen when passing near areas with grasses.

Drug treatments and immunotherapy

When allergy symptoms are bothersome or disabling, drug treatment may be prescribed by a doctor.

Antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids, and nasal decongestants are among the medications commonly used to relieve allergy-related symptoms.

In some cases, specific immunotherapy (also called "desensitization") may be offered.

This treatment consists of administering increasing doses of allergens to accustom the immune system to recognize and tolerate these substances.

Immunotherapy, performed under the supervision of an allergist, can significantly reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life of allergy sufferers.

Depending on your degree of allergy, a professional will be able to take care of you and guide you towards the treatment adapted to your allergy.

Single grass in front of a light wall

Grass pollen: a public health issue

With the increase in cases of allergies in the population and the climate changes that favor the pollination of grasses, it is essential to take this public health issue into account.

Prevention, education and research are all levers to activate to better understand and manage grass pollen allergies.

Once many people have more knowledge on this subject, it will be easier to alert and act upstream of allergies.

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