Hay fever can impair exam performance

Hay fever can impair exam performance

Hay fever can impair exam performance
Hay fever is not a trivial condition when it comes to exams, and students need to take the symptoms seriously.
Exams that take place from mid-May to the end of June coincide with the height of the grass pollen season. Weed pollen then takes its place from June to September.
Research has proved that students with hay fever symptoms are 40% more likely to drop a grade between their mocks and final exams. Despite guidelines, many students also opt for the sedating antihistamine medication, and the drop in a grade rises to 70% if you are taking these treatments.
The Allergy UK website (www.allergyuk.org) lists a number of ways to reduce exposure, including the following:
• Monitor pollen forecasts daily and stay indoors wherever possible when the count is high (generally on warmer, dry days). Rain washes pollen from the air so counts should be lower on cooler, wet days.
• Limit outdoor trips to rural areas – sea breezes blow pollen inland, so escape to the coast instead.
• Minimise exposure to freshly mown lawns.
• Wear wrap-around sunglasses when outdoor to minimise eye exposure to allergens.
• If travelling by car, keep the windows closed – cars should have an effective pollen filter.
• Consider applying a ‘pollen barrier’ to the edge of each nostril (available as balms or gels), or use petroleum jelly as an alternative.
• If you go out, shower and wash your hair on return to reduce the amount of pollen brought indoors, and limit the amount of outdoor clothing lying around in the bedroom.
• Avoid drying clothes and bedding outdoors when pollen counts are exceptionally high.
• Don’t let pets get close to your face as their fur will carry pollen.