Students warned not to let hay fever affect their exam performance

Asthma Society launches free pollen tracker & hay fever tips

  • Hay fever is very common, affecting about one in five people
  • Up to 94% of hay fever patients report that their symptoms have an impact on work/school performance[1]
  • If you have asthma, hay fever can make your asthma symptoms worse
  • Grass pollen is the most common allergen, and the season usually begins in late May/early June

Students warned not to let hay fever affect their exam performanceThis exam season, the Asthma Society of Ireland is urging students to take steps to ensure hay fever doesn’t hinder their exam success.

According to Asthma Society CEO Averil Power, “Unmanaged hay fever can make people feel miserable as they suffer with a runny nose, sneezing and itchy watery eyes. It can also affect sleep patterns, making it difficult to concentrate at work or school. At this time of year, it can be a particular cause of stress for students doing their Junior or Leaving Certificate exams. Up to 80% of people with asthma also find it can trigger their asthma symptoms. It is therefore a serious condition and one that is important to manage properly.

“The good news is that preparation can help you stop hay fever ruining your summer or affecting your exam results. You can reduce your exposure to pollen by using the live pollen forecast on the Asthma Society’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages, sponsored by Dyson and GSK.

Over-the-counter medicines such as non-drowsy antihistamine tablets and nasal sprays can also prevent or reduce symptoms. However, it is important to use these regularly throughout the pollen season. If you wait until you feel unwell, they will be less effective. If symptoms persist, you should talk to your GP about prescription medication or immunotherapy.

If you have both asthma and hay fever, make sure you also get your asthma under control by taking preventer medication as prescribed and always carry your reliever inhaler”, she concluded.

Students warned not to let hay fever affect their exam performanceAsthma Society 10 Tips For Managing Hay Fever

  • Talk to your pharmacist or doctor NOW about taking medication to prevent / reduce symptoms. Don’t wait until you feel unwell.
  • Keep an eye on the pollen tracker on the Asthma Society website at, on Twitter @asthmaireland or
  • Stay indoors as much as possible on high pollen days.
  • Stay away from grassy areas, especially ones that have been freshly cut.
  • Keep windows and doors closed when the pollen count is high and avoid sitting near an open window at school or work.
  • Put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen.
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes.
  • Shower, wash your hair and change your clothes if you have been outside for an extended period.
  • Avoid drying clothes outdoors.
  • Minimise your contact with pets that have been outdoors and likely to be carrying pollen.

Students warned not to let hay fever affect their exam performanceFor more advice on how to avoid allergy triggers and cope with hay fever talk to the Asthma Adviceline on 1800 44 54 64.

[1] Scadding G, Punekar Y. Symptomatic burden of Allergic Rhinitis  (AR) among adults. Presented at the XXV Congress of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Vienna 2006.

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