Timothy Grass Allergy: What You Need to Know

Written by Justin Zipprich
Updated: February 20, 2023
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If you have spent a lot of time around the northeast part of the United States then you are likely familiar with Timothy grass. While it is often found in forested areas, this perennial grass releases pollen that is very lightweight, which makes it easily able to travel the wind hundreds of miles. When it does, it causes many people to have an allergic reaction for a good part of the year. Today, we will give you some information about the Timothy grass allergy, the common symptoms you may experience, and how folks with allergies can get through this tough season.

What is Timothy Grass?

Although it has the word “grass” in the name, this particular grass, which is also referred to as meadow cat’s-tail or common cat’s tale, is not like the grass you typically see growing in the front yard. Instead, it is a taller perennial grass that lives more than two years and is often found in forested areas. 

Timothy grass can pop up in many different areas of the United States, but it is more common in the northeast of the country. It is the most popular grass found in New York State and it is also found in southern Pennsylvania. Timothy grass is also common in other parts of the world, including South America, Europe, and Asia. The issue with this grass is that, even if you do not live in the specific areas where it grows, the pollen that Timothy grass produces can spread for hundreds of miles in all directions. 

Needless to say, if you have a Timothy grass allergy, then you could be seriously and negatively impacted, even if you don’t live in the region where it grows.

Protecting Yourself from the Timothy Grass Allergy

Allergy Season

If you live close enough to Timothy grass to experience allergies, then the best way to handle the season is to prepare your home and look into a helpful allergy relief medication.

©Jim Vallee/Shutterstock.com

If you experience allergies and you want to avoid the discomfort that this type of ailment can provide, then it is wise to get tested and learn what you can do to mitigate the symptoms. For most people with mild allergies, the symptoms of Timothy grass allergy can include:

  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Itchy eyes
  • Scratch throat
  • Watery eyes

Of course, if you have asthma, then you may experience more aggravated symptoms. In this case, you may also experience coughing or wheezing

Learning If You Have the Allergy

A major issue that folks with a Timothy grass allergy experience is the fact that this allergen can be an issue for a majority of the year. Although every year is different, this allergy is typically an issue during the spring, summer, and autumn seasons.

If you have experienced symptoms in the past or you believe it may be an issue, then visit an allergist and get tested. If you want a faster result then many companies can also send you a self-test that gives you a final answer. 

Medications for Timothy Grass Allergy

When you learn that you have an allergic reaction to Timothy grass or you have even mild symptoms, you can get medication to reduce the symptoms. There are many prescribed and over-the-counter products that you can use. You can choose from tablets, nasal medication, or eye drops.

Here are some links to products that you can buy online that can give you some much-needed relief.

  1. NasalGuard Allergy Relief and Allergen Blocker Nasal Gel
    • Nasal gel is easy to apply.
    • Small package is travel-friendly.
    • Comes in menthol or unscented.
    • Easy to apply and backed by science.
    Check Chewy
  2. Amazon All Day Allergy Tablets
    • Approved for indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms.
    • Gluten free.
    • 24-hour support.
    • Affordable price point.
    Check Chewy
  3. Pataday Once Daily Relief Allergy Eye Drops
    • One drop per day alleviates symptoms.
    • Easy to use.
    • Relieves itchy eyes.
    • Provides quick relief.
    Check Chewy
  4. Amazon Basic Care Children's Allergy Relief Tablets
    • Awesome allergy relief for children.
    • 24-hour forum.
    • Fun grape flavor.
    • Non-drowsy
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  5. Zyrtec 24 Hour Allergy Relief Tablets
    • Dependable relief from the trustworthy Zyrtec brand.
    • 24-hour formula.
    • Provides relief for the symptoms of Timothy grass.
    • Starts working within an hour.
    Check Chewy
  6. FlutiCare Allergy Relief Nasal Spray
    • Provides relief from pollen.
    • Easy nasal application.
    • Large, one month supply.
    • Provides 24-hour relief.
    Check Chewy

Tips to Limit Exposure

For some people, the symptoms of a Timothy grass allergy are just too much to take. The good news is that there are several ways that you can supplement your medication and put up a good fight.

Keep an Eye on the Pollen Count – Download an app or look online at a pollen counter website where you can see what the pollen count will be for the day. If the count is high then consider staying at home or limiting your time outside. If you do go outside, then consider wearing a hat, mask, and sunglasses.

Use a HEPA Filter – To keep the air flowing during allergy season, keep the air conditioning going when possible. You can supplement by installing a HEPA filter to reduce the allergens in your home.

Cut the Grass – To reduce the grass pollen around your home, cut your grass regularly. At least every other week. If you have strong allergies, then have someone else cut it. Keep the windows of your home closed while you mow the lawn so you don’t allow any of that harmful pollen indoors.

Vacuum Often – If pollen is able to get into your home, you can limit the effects by vacuuming often. Find a vacuum with a HEPA filter if your allergies are extreme.

Wipe Down Your Pets – When your pets come back inside, wipe them off with a towel to limit the amount of pollen they bring inside. 

Clean Yourself When You Return Home – When you return home from the day, make it a point to bathe and wash your hair to remove any pollen you’ve collected. If you experience a lot of symptoms that day, then also wash your clothes in hot water. Finally, avoid drying your clothes outside or the pollen can stick to the damp fabric.

Foods To Avoid If You Have a Timothy Grass Allergy

A big issue with allergies is that sometimes being allergic to one substance can also cause you to have a reaction to similar items. In this case, there are several foods that are botanically related to grass. Because of this, you may have a mild reaction if you eat them, especially if they are raw. A list of foods to be cautious around includes:

  • Melon (cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew)
  • Peach
  • Orange
  • Celery
  • White potato
  • Tomato
  • Wheat (some children may be allergic)

Conclusion

As you can see, the Timothy grass allergy is a common issue for many people in America and other parts of the world. If you believe that you are allergic then follow the tips discussed here and you can survive the strongest allergy seasons.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © skrotov/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Justin Zipprich is a writer at A-Z Animals, where his primary focus is travel, state facts, pets, and mammals. Justin has been writing and editing animal content for over 7 years, though he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Technology from Western Illinois University, which he earned in 2005. As a resident of Texas, he loves discovering local animals and spending time with his wife and two kids.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Will removing the Timothy grass in my yard help with my allergic reactions?

Cutting the Timothy grass out of your yard will help with your overall reaction to the pollen. However, if you live in a part of the United States where Timothy grass is common then you may still have a reaction. That is because the pollen can travel hundreds of miles. If you want to eliminate it entirely, then you would likely need to move to a part of the country where Timothy grass is less prevalent. However, you may also be allergic to a different plant or substance in that area, so make sure to do your research ahead of time.

Can Immunotherapy help with Timothy grass allergy?

In some cases, immunotherapy can help with Timothy and other grass allergies. This is the process where an allergist introduces a small amount of the allergen in the body so you can become less sensitive. This is a procedure that they can do at the doctor’s office. However, keep in mind that it won’t always solve your issue.

Is the Timothy Grass allergy fatal?

It would be highly likely for this allergy to be fatal. In most cases, it is the typical reaction of a stuffy nose, itchy throat, and teary eyes. However, if you have a history with asthma, then you could experience difficulty breathing. If it continues then seek medical help. With that said, since Timothy grass is highly allergic, it can be considered worse than many other allergens.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.