Student life might mean finding yourself in new situations and behaving differently to how you would at home. To make sure you safely enjoy your time here, it’s a good idea to be aware of how these might impact on your allergies.
Alcohol and drugs
Alcohol can increase the severity of an allergic reaction. Be aware that you may have a worse reaction if you’ve been drinking.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin can also have the same effect.
If you’re using alcohol or recreational drugs, you may not recognise the early signs of a reaction as quickly as usual, which can delay you getting the help you need.
Kissing and sexual contact
Allergens stay in the mouth’s saliva for several hours – up to 24 hours, even after brushing your teeth. If you or your partner has a severe food allergy, it’s a good idea to check what you’ve eaten for allergens.
Illness and stress
If you’re ill or recovering from a recent illness, your allergic reactions may be more severe than usual. Stress and lack of sleep will also make you more vulnerable to a severe reaction. So, if you’re worrying about a deadline or preparing for exams, be mindful about how you’re feeling.
Make sure you’re registered with a local GP – the UMP (University Medical Practice) is the nearest surgery to campus – and don’t forget that the University’s many support services are here to help you, including the Guild and your accommodation team.
Study spaces, library desks, coffee shops and communal social areas may have surface allergens left by other people. You might like to carry a pack of wipes with you to make sure you can clean an area before you use it.