Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Which Grass is the Safest for Allergy Patients? What about Zyosia?

The Allergy Dude was asked this by a patient who was re-seeding their lawn. Interesting and relevant question.  I searched pubMed and all of my allergy journals and texts for an answer.  Short answer: there is no answer.  Long answer: keeping reading.

Pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds is small enough to be spread by normal wind, unlike the too-heavy pollen from bright flowers, which rely on insects (bees) and birds to be spread.  So what you plant in your yard does not matter too much, since there is an ocean of all types of grass producing pollen surrounding you.  That being said, under the "reduce your exposure to prevent symptoms" section, I do recommend patients with allergies should know what triggers their allergies.  For example, if it is grass, then know too that in South Carolina, based on my 13 years of records as a pollen counter, the season is typically from mid-April until the end of June.  Wear a N95 mask outside!!  Don't worry about looking stupid.  Pretend you're an intern on House.  Focus on knowing that for the 1-3 hours you suffocated wearing the mask, in exchange, you will enjoy many more hours of comfort, free from sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and especially a sinus infection.  (Do nasal sinus rinses with water or saline when you get inside, too!)

Grass is the most common plant allergen and the most common of all allergens that cause hay fever. The U.S. government funds the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  Data  was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2011; 127: 1226-35 in an article by Salo P et al  entitled "Allergy-related outcomes in relation to serum IgE: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-6."  They tested blood samples, rather than skin tests, for 19 common aeroallergens.  The two grasses selected were Bermuda and rye.  Of all 19 aeroallergens, both grasses were found to have the highest prevalence in those patients with current hay fever and current allergies (figure 1 in article).  Rye antibodies were detected in 44.2% of those with hay fever.  Bermuda was about 35%.  In those with current allergy, antibodies to rye were found in about 29% and to Bermuda in about 24%.

In conclusion, The Allergy Dude recommends grass-allergy patients plant whatever type of grass that will grow in their yard, regardless of allergies.  Because wind spreads grass pollen thoroughly throughout the air currents across the earth, allergy patients can never completely avoid one specific type of grass pollen.

No comments:

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.
My Zimbio Medicine Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory