What Are Grass Pollen Allergies?
Scientists estimate that between 10 and 30 percent of the global population suffers from hay fever, a form of rhinitis (nasal irritation) caused by exposure to allergens like grass pollens. That’s a staggering number, meaning that hundreds of millions worldwide are plagued by problems associated with breathing grass pollens.
Grass allergies like hay fever tend to affect people in a variety of ways. Many exhibit the symptoms of hay fever--runny nose, stuffiness, and sneezing, as well as asthma (breathing difficulties), conjunctivitis (itchy and watery eyes), and skin rashes.
The ACAAI further explains that grass allergies are particularly prevalent due to the fact that grass pollen, unlike pollen moved around by bees and other insects, tends to be moved by the wind. This dynamic causes most people to breathe in grass pollen and develop more serious symptoms related to the airway.
Grass pollen allergies meet the classic definition of seasonal allergies, as related complaints among patients tend to spike in spring when many regions of the US see grass pollinate. While many varieties of grass thrive around the country, northern grasses like Kentucky Blue, rye, and fescue are more common in colder, climates, while the southern varieties like Bermuda and Bahia, grow more typically in warmer areas.
Other Sources of Relief from Grass Pollen
There are several other sources for getting relief from grass pollen, some behavioral. When pollen counts are high, it’s better to stay indoors, keeping windows closed. If you must go outside for an extended period of time, be sure to change clothes and take a shower to rid your body of grass allergens.
In addition to keeping your windows closed, there’s a big step you can take toward leaving grass pollens outside and not making the problem worse, and that’s through investing in what some call allergy bedding. When you hear that term, people are referring to special encasements for bedding articles like pillows, mattresses, and even comforters and duvets.
Performance Bedding for Relief from Grass Pollen
Allergy bedding is made from high-performance fabrics specially designed to reduce and eliminate several types of allergens. Made from highly engineered technical manmade and all-natural cotton fabrics, premium allergy bedding is designed to meet a variety of goals. First and foremost, allergy bedding is made with microscopic pores to prevent allergens like dust mites, bed bugs, and different types of pollen from penetrating into a pillow, mattress, or duvet.
To achieve this goal, the pores are simply made at even smaller sizes than the particles or insects trying to pass through to the bedding. Elite manufacturers add another twist, taken from the world of technical apparel: while the pores keep pollens and other allergens out, they also wick away moisture and heat generated by the human body. This is important, especially with insect-related allergens like dust mites, since insect allergens thrive in warmer, humid environments. It’s important for all, as this wicking feature specifically works as well for a better sleep experience that’s cooler and less humid.
In addition to the fabric design, construction of allergy bedding is important. Better encasements for pillows, mattresses, and comforters feature single-needle stitching and sealed zipper enclosures. These features enable manufacturers to effectively seal off different types of bedding from a wide variety of allergens.
Use, Wash, and Reuse
You can’t, however, simply “set it and forget it.” While many high-performance fabric encasements are designed to last the lifetime of the bedding itself, that assumes that the encasements are properly maintained.
Proper maintenance involves periodic washing of normal sheets and pillowcases on a weekly basis, in hot water of at least 130 degrees in temperature. But you can’t stop there--the encasements themselves need to be washed a little less frequently, perhaps monthly, and also in hot water. When properly maintained, allergy bedding like pillow, mattress, and comforter encasements can provide a lifetime of protection for your related bedding.
Made to combat a variety of allergens, better encasement brands can even give you the added bonus of a better night’s sleep.