Missed days at school, sleepless nights for both child and parents, revision time interrupted, exams ruined and mood changes due to the debilitating symptoms and lack of sleep. This is the reality for around a third of children in the UK every spring and summer. And the cause? It may surprise many people… tiny microscopic particles of pollen! Airborne allergens expert, Max Wiseberg provides some useful tips for students…
Hay fever is the ‘invisible’ condition. It’s seen by many as something trivial that just causes irritation. But it’s a condition with no cure that, for millions of children around the UK, can cause missed days at school, sleepless nights, mood changes, disrupted learning and revision, and exams ruined. Studies show that GCSE students with hay fever are 40% more likely to drop a grade between their mocks and final exams, a figure rising to 70% if they are taking sedating antihistamines. And a poll conducted by HayMax allergen barrier balms asking ‘Has your exam performance (or your child’s) ever been affected by hay fever?’ resulted in 44% replying ‘yes’.
Airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg, creator of organic drug-free allergen barrier balm HayMax, says, “Hay fever can affect your preparation for exams as well as on the day, so it is important to reduce or avoid the symptoms during your revision time as well as during the exams themselves, so that you do yourself justice and achieve the grades you want.”
“Reducing the amount of pollen getting into your body can reduce or even stop the symptoms of hay fever. Everyone can tolerate a certain amount of pollen without reaction. But once this amount – called your trigger level – is exceeded, hay fever symptoms will start to occur. So if you stay below this level, you won’t get the symptoms and won’t feel the effect during your revision or in your exams.
Apply HayMax allergen barrier balm to the nostrils and around the bones of the eyes. HayMax organic drug-free balms have been proven trap more than a third of pollen grains, as well as dust and pet allergens, before they enter the body. Apply in the morning, throughout the day and before going to bed at night.
It’s important to keep windows shut whenever possible, so that pollen is not blown into your home or room. Vacuum your floors, carpets and rugs regularly, as well as beds and fabrics such as curtains, to remove any pollen, dust and pet allergen particles. And don’t forget to wash bedding very regularly to remove allergens. Clothes or uniforms dried on a clothes line outdoors collect pollen particles, so dry them indoors instead.
Although non-sedating anti-histamines are available (look for cetirizine or loratadine in the ingredients) these may still have an effect on the performance of the brain, which needs histamines to keep us alert, attentive and awake. Other drug-free options include saline nasal sprays that clear pollen from the nose to relieve symptoms, the Cisca Saltpipe to cleanse deep into the nasal cavity, placing the pipe close to one nostril, inhaling and then swapping to the other side, and Qu-Chi acupressure bands.
Before you go outside, if you have long hair tie it up, and wear a cap or hat to prevent pollen particles being caught in your hair. And wear wrap-around sunglasses when outdoors to help prevent pollen particles coming in contact with your eyes.
And when you return home or go back indoors, wash your face on high pollen count days to wash away allergens so that they can’t cause a reaction. A cool compress will soothe sore eyes (this works well for dust and pet allergies too).
Finally, shower at night before sleeping to remove pollen particles and pet hair from your hair and body.
If your hay fever or your child’s hay fever is extreme, seek professional advice from your GP and if it is exceptionally bad, this may be taken into account by the exam board.”