Category Archives: Grass Allergies

Hiking and Fall Allergies

Going for a weekend hike? Don’t forget your tissues!

Even though people associate spring with allergy season, fall can be just as potent. In fact, over 30% of people with seasonal allergies are affected by exercise-induced asthma. Because a nice hike is often out in the middle of nowhere, it’s important you take precautions. If you’re not sure what you’re allergic to, be sure you get tested for specific allergies so you know best how to prepare.

Get a work out in the fall

Hiking in the Fall

How to work out smart during fall allergy season:

  1. If you’re allergic to mold, avoid hiking or exercising in wet areas such as in the woods. Go for a nice stroll in a dry, arid location if possible.
  2. Temperature can play a big part. The colder the air, the more frequent the exercise-induced asthma. If you can’t avoid the cold, bring a scarf or something to warm the air before you inhale into your lungs.
  3. Check the pollen count online before you go to get a good idea of what’s out there.
  4. If you are going to a new area and you’re not familiar with the potential allergens, bring extra tissues and an epi pin to be safe. These items are very lightweight and can make a huge difference.
  5. Before you get back in your car or go back indoors, be sure to wipe off your shoes. That pollen can really accumulate and spread quickly!
  6. If it’s too much to handle, consider other healthy methods of exercise that are indoors: yoga, swimming, weight training, pop in your favorite Jillian Michaels DVD and sweat til you drop!

Be smart, know your body, and investigate your surroundings as much as possible. Fall is a beautiful season that is meant to be explored. With these precautions and tips, exercise-induced asthma and fall allergies won’t be your downfall!

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Allergies? Some Pollens Are Much More Aggressive Than Others

The allergic potential of pollens is greater than we could have imagined.

There are pollens — and there are pollens, as scientists from across Europe discovered while investigating the allergic potential of pollens from the three main triggers of hay fever in Europe: birch, grass and olive. Different people can have very different allergic reactions to a particular type of pollen, however, and as the Hialine study researchers have now found, the allergenicity of the pollens also varies. Depending on the time of year and region, the pollens produce different quantities of protein compounds. These are ultimately responsible for the allergic immune reaction.

Up until now, the only way to ascertain how seriously patients will be affected is by measuring the airborne pollen concentration. However, this method gives very little indication of how aggressive the pollens are. Read more about the intensity of certain pollens.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120521115520.htm

A Survival Guide to Spring Allergy Season

Expect this allergy season to be one of the worst. Here are 8 unconventional coping strategies:

Spring has sprung—but it’s not all cherry blossoms and tulips. Thanks to an unusually mild winter, allergy season has blown in ahead of schedule, and is expected to last up to a month longer than usual. It’s also going to spell extra-itchy eyes and stuffy noses for sufferers. “People who [have] allergies are going to be in worse shape than usual,” says Joseph Leija, an allergist at Loyola University Health System’s Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, Ill. “Even people who don’t usually have problems are already sneezing.”

Here’s a spring allergy survival guide, with eight unconventional strategies to get you through it:

1. Don’t stop to smell the flowers. Yes, they’re pretty, but sniffing a daffodil or tulip could aggravate your symptoms. Fragrances and pollen from star jasmine, narcissus, gardenia, and lily of the valley are most likely to make you sneeze.

Click to learn more tips on how to deal with your allergies.

Get Ready For An Epic Allergy Season

Allergy season is upon us! Do you know how to treat your allergies?
Global warming means bad news for allergy sufferers, but here’s how to find relief:

Shoveling buckets of snow while sweat freezes to you probably isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. Which means this mild winter may have warm weather lovers feeling positively chipper. But there’s a catch: The mild temperatures come with an earlier allergy season—one that promises to be a doozy for the country’s 35 million seasonal allergy sufferers.

While it’s not really shocking that the growing global trend of earlier spring means earlier allergies, what is surprising is that symptoms are getting more intense. What can you do?

Allergy-Proof Your Yard
“Blame it on what we call the priming effect,” says Dr. Fineman. Here’s how it works: An unseasonable warm front means that an allergic person is exposed to pollen and will have an initial reaction (achoo!). Then the temperature drops along with the pollen counts for a week or two (phew). But then the weather warms again, releasing more pollen, and the allergy sufferer—who’s already been primed the first time around—will have an even worse reaction (ugh).

Click for information on allergy proofing your yard.

Source: http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/5-ways-ease-seasonal-allergy-symptoms?cm_mmc=OGGazette-_-831052-_-03012012-_-get_ready_for_an_epic_allergy_season

Free Allergy Screenings!

Free allergy screenings will be available from 11am-3pm on September 24th using ImmuneTech’s Allergy Test at Giant Eagle Grocery Store locations, sponsored by Giant Eagle and Allegra.

Check to see if there is a location near you. If there is not a free screening in your area, you click to order your low-cost allergy test. Use discount code “ILG” at checkout for 15% off!

4300 Kent Road, State Route 59, Stow, OH 44224, (330) 686-7829

6493 Strip Avenue N.W., North, Canton, OH 44720, (330) 497-7902

351 Center Street, Chardon, OH 44024, (440) 286-4949

8515 Tanglewood Square, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023, (440) 543-5144

2201 Kresge Drive, Amherst, OH 44001, (440) 282-7614

4747 Sawmill Road, Columbus, OH 43220, (614) 923-0475

873 Refugee Road, Pickerington, OH 43147, (614) 866-3693

344 Goucher Street, Johnstown, PA 15905, (814) 288-6918

4010 Monroeville Boulevard, Monroeville, PA 15146, (412) 372-1220

1671 Butler Plank Road, Glenshaw, PA 15116, (412) 961-0614

4007 Washington Road, McMurray, PA 15317, (724) 941-7220

9880 Olde US 20, Rossford, OH 43460-1716, (419) 874-2415

100 N Main Street, DuBois, PA 15801, (814) 375-3708

Ragweed allergies lasting longer due to climate change!

Do your seasonal allergies seem to last longer now? Its not just your imagination! Given the millions of allergy sufferers held hostage by the drippy noses, burning, watery eyes, and continuous sneezing sessions it induces, ragweed may be one of the most hated plants on the planet.

A recent study, led by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with Rutgers, has confirmed a link between seasonal warming and a longer ragweed season in some parts of central North America.

“The main takeaway is that we are already seeing a significant increase in the season length of ragweed; and that this increase in season length is associated with a greater warming at northern latitudes, consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections regarding climate change,” explains lead study author Lewis Ziska, PhD, research plant physiologist with USDA’s Crop Systems and Global Change Lab.

Researchers used ragweed pollen and temperature data recorded between the late 1990s and 2005 in 10 different locations in the U.S. and Canada and found that in all but two of the areas analyzed, the ragweed pollen season increased—in some cases by nearly a month. The lengthening of the allergy season coincides with an increase in warmer, frost-free days. Researchers noticed a general trend—the ragweed allergy season grew longest in the higher latitudes of the northern United States and Canada.

Ragweed is one of the most common weed allergens, affecting about 10 percent of the population.

Ragweed

Among allergy sufferers, nearly a third endure hay fever misery brought on by ragweed pollen. Under normal circumstances, a single ragweed plant creates 1 million pollen grains; but a climate change–charged, more CO2-rich environment boosts that number to upwards of 3 to 4 million pollen grains per plant, according to Clifford Bassett, MD, medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York and a member of the public-education committee at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Here are some solutions to help you survive ragweed allergies:

• Make sure you’re actually allergic to ragweed. It may sound silly, but allergists recommend being tested to confirm you’re allergic to what you actually think is making you sneeze. ImmuneTech offers a home test kit for ragweed and other allergens; visit www.immunetech.com to order yours today. For a 15% discount, use code ILG at checkout.

• Plan vacations accordingly. For many people, February still marks the cold season, months away from the miserableness of hay fever symptoms. But take your ragweed allergy into consideration as you plan this year’s summer or fall getaway. Pollen counts are generally lower around water. So if you vacation during prime ragweed season—summer and fall, or year-round in places like Florida or Hawaii—plan some time on the beach or around rivers and lakes for some ragweed relief.

• Create better indoor air. While houseplants can’t rid your air of pollens you’re allergic to, certain houseplants can counteract indoor air pollution that further aggravates your allergy problem.

References:

http://www.rodale.com/ragweed-allergy-0

http://news.rutgers.edu/medrel/news-releases/2011/03/seasonal-warming-lea-20110316

Do you know your grasses?

Grasses are often a major culprit to those with allergies. Thankfully, however, not all grasses are problematic. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, there are over 1,200 types of grass, but there are only a few species that create allergies in people, including Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, Kentucky bluegrass, Orchard grass, Sweet Vernal grass, and Timothy grass. Below are brief descriptions and pictures of each of these allergy-causing grasses. Sometimes its easier to deal with things once you get a “face” to go with the name!

Bermuda grass is one of the more common grasses used on lawns because of its drought-resistant nature and reasonable cost, according to americanlawn.com. It is a low, creeping grass. It creeps along the ground and will root wherever a node touches the ground forming a thick mat. It reproduces both by pollen, nodes, and by spreading its roots underground. This grass grows and pollinates in the spring and summer. Its called Bermuda grass because it was introduced to the United States from the Island of Bermuda.

Bermuda grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnson grass is one of the top ten noxious weeds in the world due to its negative ecological impact, according to the U.S. National Forest Service. It is present in all 50 states and is invasive in 24. It is an upright perennial grass that can grow up to six to eight feet high or more and has a fibrous root system that it reproduces through as well. It flowers from May until frost.

Johnson grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kentucky bluegrass is the most common planting grass for lawns and parks in the U.S. Although the species is spread over all of the cool, humid parts of the U.S., it is not native to North America. Early colonists brought seed of Kentucky bluegrass to this country in mixtures with other grasses. Kentucky bluegrass grows 18 to 24 inches tall. It spreads by rhizomes and tillers and forms a dense sod. It flowers in the late spring and early summer and is one of the most significant grasses in terms of allergies.

Kentucky bluegrass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orchard grass is a grass native to Eurasia, but has become popular in the United States. The grass is a perennial that grows between 3 and 4 feet high when left uncut. It thrives in moist soils with partial shade. The grass is commonly planted under orchard trees as a ground cover. Orchard grass allergies vary by region and season; usually allergy sufferers are most affected in May and June.

Orchard grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Vernal grass is a short-lived perennial grass found wild in acidic grassland in Eurasia. It is also grown as a lawn grass and a houseplant, due to its sweet scent, and can be found on unimproved pastures and meadows. It has been used in the past as a medicinal plant and in the manufacturing of brandy, however is no longer considered safe. This grass grows in tufts up to 3 to 4 feet tall and flowers from April until June.

Sweet Vernal grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timothy grass is one of the most prevalent types of grasses in the world. Timothy grass is originally from Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is used for animals, and is often dried and turned into a source of hay. I remember feeding Timothy hay to my pony as a child. This grass is prevalent in virtually every part of the United States, but grows most effectively in cool, humid climates. Generally, Timothy grass flowers and pollinates in the summer. The severity of the allergy depends on the season and the area in which you live.

Timothy grass


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(All photos from Google Images)