Allergy UK is backing an awareness campaign encouraging parents and children to ‘Teach Hay Fever a Lesson’.

Up to 40% of children suffer, with many struggling with runny noses and itchy eyes during exam season. This can have a clear and detrimental impact on their exam results: the research shows that those of them who suffer from hay fever symptoms are 40% more likely to drop a grade between their practice and final GCSE exams. And this increases to a likelihood of 70% if they were taking sedating antihistamines at the same time as summer exams.

With that in mind, Allergy UK has decided to ‘Teach Hay Fever a Lesson’. The charity is backing the campaign, sponsored by ALK, to highlight the symptoms of hay fever and to give advice on how to cope with the allergy during the already stressful exam period. As well as offering information and tips, the campaign encourages parents to speak to their GP if their child is suffering from symptoms of hay fever and they are concerned about how it may affect them during the exam period.

Carla Jones, CEO, Allergy UK, said: “Hay fever is most troublesome during spring and summer when pollen counts are high, which regrettably falls right in the middle of exam season for most schools.

“Thankfully there are lots of options to reduce suffering which is why we are backing a campaign to raise awareness of managing the condition, to help anyone aged between 11 and 16 who might be suffering with the allergy and has exams over the next few weeks.”

ALK General Manager Sean Connor said: “Avoidance is the first option to reduce the impact of hay fever, but this isn’t always practical. Rest assured there are other ways to help manage the allergy including quick tips such as monitoring pollen forecasts and wearing wraparound sunglasses, to finding the right treatment options to help you Teach Hay Fever a Lesson!”

The symptoms of hay fever include:

  • Sneezing
  •  Itchy eyes or throat
  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Watering or red eyes
  • Headaches and blocked sinuses
  • Tiredness
  • Post-nasal drip