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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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Top 10 tips for healthy living during exams

Pharmacy union offers tips for avoiding health problems during exams…which includes paying a visit to your pharmacy.

Stressed
Stressed

THE LONGER EVENINGS and warmer weather may signal the start of the summer for most but spare a thought for the exhausted students burning both ends of the candle in preparation for those all important exams.

It is easy to forget the basic principles of living a healthy lifestyle when preoccupied by late night and early morning cramming sessions ahead of examinations.

But luckily for the country’s young scholars, the Irish Pharmacy Union has taken time out from lobbying politicians on drug prices and prescription charges to offer advice on how to stay healthy during exams.

In a press release, the IPU warned that stress levels can be higher than usual before exams and can lead to all sort of medical problems such as headaches, stomach upsets and coldsores.

Kathy Maher,  IPU Vice-President,  commented:  ”stress can manifest itself in the body in a number of different ways affecting a student’s health.”

And just when you thought the benevolent union had no underlying agenda, Maher adds:  ”we are encouraging students to ask their pharmacist about any health concerns they may have.”

Here’s the union’s memorably titled “safe guide for students to help manage their health during exam time”:

1.  Stay Healthy

Eat regular, well-balanced, healthy meals.  If necessary, supplement your diet with a multi-vitamin to prevent getting run down.

2.    Headaches

Tension headaches can occur.  Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, study in a well-ventilated room and take regular breaks, particularly students who wear glasses or contact lenses so as not to strain their eyes.  Consult pharmacists before taking any medication for headaches.

3.    Dehydration

Make sure to drink lots of fluids throughout the day and during the exams.  Avoid too much coffee or stimulant drinks.

4.    Cold Sores

Apply a preventative cream as soon as possible and reapply the cream regularly.  Wash your hands before and after applying the cream to avoid the cold sore spreading.  Protect your lips with high factor lip balm.

5.    Stomach upsets

If the problem persists, your pharmacist can recommend an over-the-counter medicine.  If constipated, drink plenty of water and eat fruit and high fibre foods.  For diarrhoea, drink plenty of water and keep hydrated.  Ask your pharmacist for a remedy to help to replenish vital vitamins and minerals if diarrhoea is severe.

6.    Hay Fever

Hay fever sufferers should keep doors and windows closed in mid-morning and early evening when pollen levels peak.  Avoid studying outside.  If taking antihistamines make sure to take tablets that do not cause drowsiness.

7.    Asthma

Be extra vigilant in using inhalers correctly during exam time. Ask your pharmacist for advice on improving your inhaler technique. Make sure to have an ample supply of inhalers and bring one with you at all times so it can be used during the exam if required.

8.    Eczema

Keep your skin well moisturised with the cream prescribed by your doctor. Wear loose-fitting clothes that won’t aggravate the condition and cause the skin to itch or flare up further.

9.    Insomnia

Avoid products containing caffeine. Take some light exercise during the day or a bath or shower in order to relax before bedtime. Don’t study in bed as the brain will become over-stimulated. Set aside a period for relaxing during the study schedule.

10.   Muscular and Joint Discomfort

When revising, it is important to have a chair that provides good back support.  Avoid crossing legs or slouching over a desk.  Take frequent breaks when studying, walk around for a few moments or perform some light stretches.

Read:  16 things you’ll remember from your J1 experience>
Read: 23 scientifically-backed ways to reduce stress >

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