Exams are never something to look forward to, but if you have to cope with hay fever as well, it can make the whole experience a total misery. Plus to make things worse, research shows that students who have hay fever are 40% more likely to drop a grade in their final summer exams compared to their mocks in January. Luckily, there are several things you can do to help maintain those all important grades.
Airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg, who has suffered from hayfever himself since a child, has some simple advice for students sitting exams this summer.
- To limit your pollen exposure during the exam period, dry your clothes indoors rather than on an outside clothes line where pollen could get trapped in the fabric.
- If you have pets, avoiding touching them, as pollen can get stuck to its fur.
- Change your bedding as often as possible to lessen pollen build up.
- Shower at night before sleeping to remove pollen from your hair and body.
- Place an air filter into your bedroom to trap the pollen and improve sleep quality.
- On the day of the exam, wear clean clothes rather than clothes that could be harbouring pollen particles.
- Tie up long hair in an exam to prevent pollen from getting caught in your hair.
- Try using allergen barrier balms to trap pollen before it reaches your nose or your eyes.
Colleges and universities can do a lot to help hay fever sufferers, so speak to someone well in advance. Prevailing winds come from the west, so housing the exam in an east-facing hall with the windows closed would definitely help. And ask them to make drinking water readily available to help with dehydration.
You don’t need to suffer in silence this summer. Let us know if you’re a hay fever sufferer and share the tricks you use to make it through the summer.
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