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Grass allergy

Many people are allergic to pollens from grass and weeds. Such allergies usually occur in the late spring and summer.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

See also:

Poisonous Ingredient

Although the grass itself may not be harmful, fertilizers, insecticides , and herbicides applied to the grass can be poisonous.

Symptoms

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Headache
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose

Home Care

See the article on hay fever for self-treatment steps.

If you have difficulty breathing, contact your doctor for further information. If breathing becomes extremely difficult, seek immediate medical help.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Type of symptoms the person is having

If the grass was recently treated with a chemical of any sort such as fertilizer, insecticide, or herbicide, find out the product name and ingredients.

Poison Control

This call is usually unnecessary unless the person is having a severe allergic reaction to the grass or is experiencing breathing difficulties. If the grass has recently been fertilized, sprayed with an insecticide or herbicide, or treated with a chemical in any way, contact poison control.

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

An emergency room visit is usually not necessary, unless the person has an asthma attack or severe allergic reaction. If an emergency room visit is needed, the patient may receive:

  • Breathing support
  • Medications to treat symptoms

Outlook (Prognosis)

Normally there are no major problems unless the patient has asthma or a severe allergic reaction to the grass. Recovery usually occurs.

Updated: 10/21/2013

Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.


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