An educational gap can indeed influence your study abroad application, though its impact depends on various factors. Firstly, the reason for the gap matters; valid explanations like health issues or pursuing relevant work experience are generally more acceptable. If you've used your time productively, engaging in activities such as internships, volunteering, or self-study that enhance your qualifications, this can work in your favor. 

However, transparency is key – hiding the gap could raise concerns. To address the gap's impact, provide a well-written explanation in your application, outlining the reason for the gap and how you utilized that time. Supporting documents, like medical records or recommendation letters from mentors during the gap, can lend credibility to your explanation. If you've demonstrated growth and personal development during the gap, it can actually strengthen your application by showing adaptability and commitment. 

Keep in mind that each university or program may view educational gaps differently, so it's essential to research specific institutions and reach out to admissions offices for clarity. Ultimately, while a gap can affect your application, its significance will depend on your circumstances and how effectively you present them in your application materials.