I Suffer Each Spring Because Of Allergies

I Suffer Each Spring Because Of Allergies

The pain of pollen, dust, and other things.

eliset1
eliset1
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If you're one of the fifty million adults in the United States who have a pollen allergy, this article is one you can definitely relate to. Luckily, allergies don't effect us all, but for those of us who have our daily lives impacted by seasonal or year-round allergies, it is the worst. Allergies are especially the worst during allergy season, which is usually around the start of Spring.

Hacking, sneezing, runny noses, coughing, itchy eyes, watery eyes, itchy ears - those are some of the many things that those with allergies have to suffer with. If you're anything like me, you might have to take an allergy pill once a day to make sure you can power through. But boy, once February hits and pollen begins flowing through the air, these symptoms become hindrances to our days. Simple allergy medicines don't help that much either, even though they try. Although they may get rid of some basic symptoms, such as a runny nose or itchy eyes, medicines won't take away from the horrid drag you feel throughout the day. Some people (like me) have to go as far as getting prescribed medications to treat their allergies and illnesses associated with them.

One of the most common illnesses that allergy suffers have is hayfever. Hayfever is a more intricate way to say 'seasonal allergies,' except it is sometimes much more worse than just that. With hayfever comes fatigue, headache, ear pain, and slight trouble breathing. Although very similar to the common cold, hayfever is thankfully not contagious. Though, while you're busing sneezing and coughing away, I'm sure other people won't completely believe you on that.

Having allergies isn't all a curse, however. Sometimes, they can be a blessing. Allergies can get you out of having to eat things you may not want to eat. They can also get you out of classes, and while annoying, can get you out of awkward situations. Not only that, but scientifically speaking, allergies have been found to protect against certain cancers! So, the next time you're tossing back an allergy pill with your eyes watering, just know it's not all bad, and that like every season, you'll get through this one.

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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A Second Person Has Achieved Long-Term Remission Of The HIV Virus

A second man has had long term remission of the HIV virus.

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Over a decade after the first man, known as the Berlin Patient, was declared HIV-free, another patient may also be cured. Though it's too early for scientists to say for sure, the London Patient has been in a long term remission for around 18 months without the help of medication. Both men were treated with a bone marrow transplant. However, these stem cells carried a rare mutation in the genes that affect the production of the CCR5 protein, which HIV viruses latch onto to enter the cell. The virus cannot latch onto the mutated version of the protein, thus blocking its entry into the cells.

With the transplant of these HIV resistant genes, the body effectively builds a new immune system free of the virus.

After the Berlin Patient went into remission, scientists tried and failed to replicate the cure and were unable to until the London Patient, whose HIV count has reduced into undetectable numbers. While this is extremely helpful, bone marrow transplants are not a viable option to cure all HIV infected people, as it is an extremely risky process and comes with many side effects. Even so, scientists are developing ways to extract bone marrow from HIV infected people, genetically modifying them to produce the same mutations on the CCR5 gene or the inability to express that gene at all, and then replacing it back into the patient so they can still build resistance without the negative effects of a bone marrow transplant. There have also been babies whose genomes have been edited to remove the CCR5 gene, allowing them to grow up resistant to HIV.

This does not eliminate the threat of the HIV virus, however.

There is another strand of the virus, called X4, that uses the CXCR4 protein to enter the cell. Even if the editing of the CCR5 allows immunity against one strand, it is possible for a person to be infected with the X4 strand of the virus. Despite this, immunization against one strand could save a countless number of lives, as well as the vaccine that is currently in the stages of development for HIV. Along with the London Patient, there are 37 other patients who have received bone marrow transplants, six of which from donors without the mutation.

Of these patients, number 19, known as the Dusseldorf Patient, has been off anti-HIV drugs for 4 months. It may not be a complete cure, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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