Study, Exams And Hay Fever I Oxford Open Learning

    Hay fever

    Study, Exams And Hay Fever

    Strategies For Persevering

    To have persistent allergies can seem like a good dose of bad luck. However, to be dealing with things like hay fever during a high-pressure exam season is beyond the pale.

    Itchy eyes, running noses, itchy throats – it’s a huge challenge to process anything properly when hay fever is bad enough. For those suffering, the disruption to their learning schedule can be very serious.

    Hay fever season used to typically begin around May or June time. However, recently there has been speculation that the hay fever season will begin earlier every year. These studies seem to indicate that these allergies could arrive as soon as January in future. It’s also expected that hay fever will last for longer durations, and have increased potency, as global temperatures rise.

    One can almost feel helpless under these conditions, but it’s important that you fight back if you do suffer from hay fever. Here’s a quick list of ways you can do that.

    Use Your Apps

    Apps are tracking many things today, including stock markets, shopping habits, social media activity, and a plethora of other things. Areas around hay fever are also being monitored, which can be a huge advantage to you as you map out your approach to study.

    The weather can affect how invasive pollen can be, as it influences how pollen is produced and also dispersed. Use your weather apps and determine how windy, warm, or sunny the days ahead are. The cooler and cloudier the day, the less likely you are to experience intense hay fever.

    There are also apps that are designed to focus entirely on pollen count, too. Download those for further insights. You can get today’s pollen count, or pollen counts for the next five days, too.

    Some apps can also log your symptoms and track how your body is reacting to hay fever daily. They can also have a digital allergy journal for your use, allowing you to further examine which types of pollen effect you most intensely.

    When you have a huge challenge before you, the best start you can get in countering it is gathering data. The apps on your smartphone can be utilised to that end.

    Schedule Learning Effectively

    Much like temperatures during a heatwave, hay fever also has peaks and troughs in terms of when it’s strongest. Generally, pollen rises into the warm air during the day, as it’s very light. In the evening, it falls to the ground.

    That means pollen counts are lowest before dawn or in the late afternoon to early evening. So, if you’re revising for exams, adjusting your schedule for hay fever-free study is in your best interests at these times of day.

    Not a morning person? That’s totally understandable, especially in your teens. To be more inclined to get up at a ridiculously early hour, there are a few things you can do. Set your alarm clock, have a drink of water to hand as soon as you wake, keep the curtains open (as sunlight reduces the sleep hormone melatonin), and set an earlier bedtime for yourself so you’re well-rested.

    Remember Pollen Is Sticky

    Pollen sticks to many things; hair, clothes, bedding, and even your furry friends if you have cats and dogs. This fact is often an oversight by many hay fever sufferers, so it’s essential you don’t forget it.

    To stop pollen sticking to your hair, try to wear a hat when you go outdoors. Nothing too heavy, of course, but a light beanie or a cap should make a difference.

    Wash your dogs and cats if they’ve been outside. Try to keep them away from the grass by keeping them on a lead. Avoid them at the optimum times of day, the same as we discussed earlier in this article. As hard as it might be, you should also try to avoid cuddling your cats and dogs for the duration of hay fever season, too, just in case (though braving a bit of light discomfort on a study break can be worth it!).

    Try to take a shower every night as it will literally wash away all traces of pollen on your person. Wash all your clothes and bedding more often than usual, too. Don’t dry them outside on the line – if your parents oversee that, remind them! Keep your home as clean as possible; vacuuming and dusting help a huge amount in eradicating pollen.

    You can also use the fact that pollen is sticky to your advantage. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline jelly to your nostrils each day. This should be enough to stop pollen traveling up your nose, which is how a lot of the irritation and sneezing starts. Vaseline is quite translucent, and it shouldn’t be too obvious you’ve got some on your face, so try not to worry about looking silly.


    As you can see, you’re not powerless when hay fever strikes. Hopefully these tips can make a real difference to your learning experience and minimise the disruption caused by allergies. Wrestle back control from hay fever, remain diligent, and everything should be okay.

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