Learn how to prepare for grass allergy season in this post sponsored by Stallergenes Greer.
Disclaimer: I am not a Doctor and this should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your Doctor before starting this, or any other, medication or treatment plan. I am not on ORALAIR®(Sweet Vernal, Orchard, Perennial Rye, Timothy, and Kentucky Blue Grass Mixed Pollens Allergen Extract) Tablet for Sublingual Use; however, I am sharing because I thought it may help one of you.
We just moved into a house from an apartment, and my husband Terrence could not wait to get into the backyard. He was planning the cookouts and parties we would have even before we were all the way unpacked! It was cold when we first moved in, though, so our outside party plans were put on hold. Now that it’s starting to warm up, he’s anxious to get out back and get things looking good so that we can have our friends and family over.
There’s just one problem. My husband is allergic to grass.
Every weekend when I was growing up, my dad was outside cutting grass and digging up weeds. He just loved to be outside. Even in the warm spring and summer months, though, he was covered from head to toe. When I finally asked him why, he shared that he was allergic to grass. Covering up was one of the things he could do to protect himself.
The other day when I saw my husband outside working with my father-in-law to get our backyard in order, I ran out to save him. While my father-in-law was covered from head-to-toe in work clothes, my husband was wearing his regular clothes.
“You have to put on long sleeves!” I yelled to him over the sound of the lawn mower. “And you’re going to have to get some allergy medicine.”
He replied, “Really? It’s that serious?”
“Yes, my love. It’s that serious.”
One of the most common seasonal allergies in the United States, grass allergies can cause folks to have symptoms like runny noses, and itchy eyes. The discomfort can be extreme in some people, and I’d rather not have my husband risk it.
Grass allergy season starts a little later in the year, but winter is the best time to start taking preventative actions. There are grass allergy treatments that require patients to start treatments four months prior to the start of grass allergy season. These treatments have shown to reduce the symptoms like allergic rhinitis.
This is what I have found to be helpful in preparing for grass allergy season:
My husband and father-in-law have both found that covering up while outside (whether it be a work suit or just long sleeves and pants) has been critical in navigating their grass allergies. As much as you can keep your body away from the grass and pollen, do it. That means you should wear a hat, as well as gloves and a face mask if it makes sense. Obviously you’re not going to be at your child’s soccer game with gloves on, but in your backyard mowing the lawn, you definitely should wear them.
Talk your doctor about allergy treatment options.
People who have severe grass allergies have many options to consider from injections to sublingual immunotherapy, such as ORALAIR. The under-the-tongue immunotherapy medicine is prescribed to treat sneezing, runny nose or itchy eyes due to an allergy to five grass pollens.
ORALAIR is sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), an alternative way to treat the rhinitis symptoms of the grass allergies in patients 10 years to 65 years of age. According to Dr. Ryan Sullivan a board certified allergist-immunologist with Skin & Allergy Center in the Nashville area who is a sponsored and paid speaker by Stallergenes Greer, “ORALAIR is another option for treating grass allergies and can be taken from home after the first dose administered by a physician.”
ORALAIR is approved for patients 10 to 65 years of age. Basically anyone who has been shown to be grass allergy positive who can’t or won’t consider allergy shots should ask their doctor if they are a candidate for ORALAIR. ORALAIR does contain a boxed warning. In children and adults, the most commonly reported side effects were itching of the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. These side effects, by themselves, are not dangerous or life-threatening. ORALAIR can cause severe allergic reactions that may be life-threatening. Symptoms of allergic reactions to ORALAIR include: trouble breathing, throat tightness or swelling, trouble swallowing or speaking, dizziness or fainting, rapid or weak heartbeat, severe stomach cramps or pain, vomiting, or diarrhea, severe flushing or itching of the skin. For more information, check out: http://www.oralair.com/assets/pdf/ORALAIR%20Med%20Guide.pdf
ORALAIR is a sublingual tablet and not an injection so ORALAIR may be another option for you!
Get an early or a late start.
There are certain points of the day when pollen and grass allergies seem to flare up for folks. Keep your eye on the pollen count for your area, and plan your day accordingly. If you’re doing something outdoors, and the pollen count is going to be high in the morning, wait until later in the day to get started.
Spending time in the backyard is one of the best parts of having a house. I have a lot of memories chilling out back with my family when I was a kid. Now that I’m older, I want to make those same memories with my children. I need my husband to be able to hang out there with us, and I need him to be comfortable!
For more information on seasonal grass allergies and how to treat them, check out this infographic!
Indications and Usage
ORALAIR (Sweet Vernal, Orchard, Perennial Rye, Timothy, and Kentucky Blue Grass Mixed Pollens Allergen Extract) is a prescription medicine used for sublingual (under the tongue) immunotherapy prescribed to treat sneezing, runny or itchy nose, nasal congestion or itchy and watery eyes due to allergy to these grass pollens. ORALAIR may be prescribed for persons 10 to 65 years old whose doctor has confirmed are allergic to at least one of these five grass pollens.
ORALAIR is taken about four months before the expected start of the grass pollen season and is continued throughout the grass pollen season.
ORALAIR is NOT a medication that gives immediate relief of allergy symptoms.
Important Safety Information
ORALAIR can cause severe allergic reactions that may be life-threatening. Symptoms of allergic reactions to ORALAIR include:
- Trouble breathing
- Throat tightness or swelling
- Trouble swallowing or speaking
- Dizziness or fainting
- Rapid or weak heartbeat
- Severe stomach cramps or pain, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Severe flushing or itching of the skin
If any of these symptoms occur, stop taking ORALAIR and immediately seek medical care. For home administration of ORALAIR, your doctor should prescribe auto-injectable epinephrine for you to keep at home for treating a severe reaction, should one occur. Your doctor will train and instruct you on the proper use of auto-injectable epinephrine.
Do not take ORALAIR if you or your child:
- Has severe, unstable, or uncontrolled asthma;
- Had a severe allergic reaction in the past that included trouble breathing, dizziness or fainting, or rapid or weak heartbeat;
- Has ever had difficulty with breathing due to swelling of the throat or upper airway after using any sublingual immunotherapy before;
- Has ever been diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis; or
- Is allergic to any of the inactive ingredients contained in ORALAIR.
Stop taking ORALAIR and contact your doctor if you or your child has any mouth surgery procedures (such as tooth removal), develops any mouth infections, ulcers or cuts in the mouth or throat, or has heartburn, difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing, or chest pain that does not go away or worsens.
In children and adults, the most commonly reported side effects were itching of the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. These side effects, by themselves, are not dangerous or life-threatening.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800- FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. Talk to your doctor before using ORALAIR while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning and Medication Guide.