Don’t let your asthma or allergy affect your exam performance

As we approach exam season the Asthma Society of Ireland is urging parents and students to take steps to ensure their asthma or allergies do not hinder their exam success.

Some 470,000 people in Ireland have asthma and 60 per cent to 80 per cent of these also have hay fever, making the summer months a difficult time for many. As the peak grass pollen season starts it is important to have a plan in place to manage both your asthma and allergies.

Pheena Kenny, head of health promotion at the Asthma Society of Ireland, said: "Pollen is a significant trigger for many asthma patients and it is important to have a plan in place to manage both your asthma and allergies. Hay fever is not a trivial condition. It can affect sleep patterns, which in turn affect concentration and exam performance. If you have asthma and allergies, and are getting ready to sit an exam this year, it is important that you get your symptoms under control and take pre-emptive action as early as possible.”

Here are some tips on what you can do to help see your child through exam season:

Be prepared: Visit your doctor or nurse to put a plan in place for managing your asthma and allergies. Do not wait for your hay fever symptoms to start; you can start taking nasal steroid sprays and non-drowsy antihistamines now.

Get your asthma under control: The best way to manage any asthma trigger, including pollen is to have your asthma well controlled. Take your preventer medication daily, as prescribed and make sure you are taking your inhaler properly.

Plan ahead: Keep an eye on the pollen count at asthma.ie to get an idea of what is ahead and plan accordingly.

Know your triggers and reduce exposure to them: Simple strategies like washing hair before bed, changing clothes before entering the bedroom, keeping pets downstairs, and keeping car windows closed on the journey to school can make a noticeable difference.

Advice on how to avoid allergy triggers and cope with hay fever is available on the Asthma Adviceline on (1850 ) 445464.

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