Shane – High Blood Pressure

I chose this topic because I learned that my family had a variety of cases of high blood pressure so I wanted to learn more about it and how it affected me as a teen. I knew little about the topic when I started researching but I did know that high blood pressure caused problems with your heart. I also know to measure high blood pressure you had to use a machine that was wrapped around your arm and then cut off blood circulation but I didn’t know the name of the machine. One of the causes of high blood pressure is a poor diet and not enough exercise so that was a connection to the first unit of wellness. It is important for me to know about high blood pressure because I am more at risk of high blood pressure due to my genes so if I learn more about high blood pressure I can learn about how to prevent it from affecting me. It affects teenagers because what we do as teenagers affects how more or less at risk we are to high blood pressure. Such as if we have a poor diet consisting of a lot of salt we could be at more risk of high blood pressure when we are older. Genetics also can affect your risk of high blood pressure, like me, people’s genetics can affect how much plaque buildup there is in your body which a lot of buildup causes high blood pressure and other problems.

I learned that to measure your blood pressure the machine you use is called a sphygmomanometer. I also learned that exercising and having a good diet lowers your risk of high blood pressure. I also learned that the buildup of plaque in the artery walls is the cause of high blood pressure. I think that this issue is affecting a lot of people in the world but is an issue that can be almost always easily avoided by eating a balanced diet and exercising a decent amount. I think that babies being able to have high blood pressure surprised me the most, nothing else was really unexpected. Now that I know the ways to prevent high blood pressure I can start using that information in my lifestyle, such as how much exercise I get and what type of food I eat. I think one big misunderstanding is that high blood pressure is only due to a poor diet or poor exercise, a big reason people get high blood pressure is because of their genetics and if their family members had it. A problem is that not many people are educated on the causes of high blood pressure so they can’t avoid what they don’t know. A solution to this problem is to educate people more about the issue and how to avoid it. If you already have high blood pressure it can be cured by having a balanced diet and increasing your exercise daily. I think it has shown me more about how important having a balanced diet and getting exercise is.

This image relates to my topic because it shows you how blood pressure is measured so people can understand that a low blood pressure is when there isn’t much force applied to the artery walls, and high blood pressure is when a lot of force is applied to the artery walls.

Vision ~ Elki

Topic – Vision

I chose vision because 1) I have bad vision, 2) some of my friends and family have bad vision as well, and 3) I never knew the causes of and solutions (other than glasses/contacts) to bad vision. This affects me because we people who have bad vision have to go out of our way to pay for and seek treatment so we can see normally. This especially affects me as I am a student who does a lot of reading in class, and even small things like not seeing information on the board can be very costly when it comes to exams or performance tasks. Before studying and researching on this topic, I knew almost nothing about why people had bad vision and only could identify solutions to it. I just went through my vision treatment and followed directions; I never questioned why my vision was bad in the first place. A connection that this topic has with another is with the unit we had on respect. People with bad vision may lose respect for themselves as they may see themselves as inferior people, and they can also unintentionally lose respect from other people as it is harder for them to listen to others, as they can’t see them as well as normal. A connection can also be made to the study last year on Hellen Keller. As she was born deaf and blind, I would think that it would be extremely difficult for her to communicate and live like normal people, which inspired me to study this topic. A more obvious way this topic connects to me is that I have bad vision myself, and I really wished to get rid of it and to know more about why this happened. This is relevant to me because again, many of my peers, some family, and I have bad vision, and because it is very common throughout the world. For teenagers, the state of vision is very important because in an academically focused context, being able to learn visually without any trouble is very important as many of the lessons taught involve photo or video. Another way this is important to teenagers is that because teens are more subject to mood swings and anxiety, teenagers will lose self esteem at even higher rates because of their bad vision compared to others.

When researching on this topic, I found out the many different causes of bad vision, and I realized that bad vision can actually be caused by diseases. This was surprising to me, as I previously thought that bad vision was caused simply by chance or by genes and not diseases and conditions. This might also be a common misunderstanding about vision, another being the “blind people also have bad hearing” misconception. The first condition I learned about is called “Glaucoma”. This disease causes added pressure to your eye(s) which can damage your optic nerves. These optic nerves are the nerves that transmit images to your brain, and over time, Glaucoma can cause total vision loss without proper treatment. The second condition I learned about is called “Amblyopia”. This condition is when (usually) one of your eyes fails to fully develop like a normal eye, no matter the treatment such as glasses or contacts. This is more commonly known as “lazy eye”. I connect with this condition because I remember one of my kindergarten friends having an eyepatch on due to lazy eye, but I never really questioned it. The last condition that I decided to learn about is called “Astigmatism”. This condition is when your cornea (outer layer of eye) is misshaped, thus causing generally blurry vision. The misshapen cornea makes it more difficult for light to properly focus on the retina, which makes vision blurry from all distances. This is the condition I have, as without lenses or glasses, my vision is blurry from most distances longer than face to face, for example. This has vastly expanded my learning, as I previously knew almost nothing about how bad vision is created. I know know about the multitude of causes that make people’s vision bad, and now I understand why other people get different treatment than me, as they have different conditions. Other than glasses, another solution that cures/treats bad vision is called “Orthokeratology”. This process involves wearing a specially shaped contact lens during sleep, which reshapes your cornea temporarily for the day. This is the solution I use to solve my astigmatism, which works perfectly (unless you lose either contact lens). The other solution that I researched on was called “Lasik”, which involves a laser steepening or flattening the cornea of your eye. This laser pushes on the cornea according to the patient’s condition which makes it more normally shaped. To conclude, I’ve learned that even the smallest things have large effects, as even the state of your eyes can affect so many parts of wellness and have such complex causes and solutions.

Image result for orthokeratology

this is a diagram of a misshaped cornea with astigmatism on the left. this describes how orthokeratology works, as putting a specifically shaped contact lens over a misshaped cornea temporarily reshapes it. this connects to me, as this is the method i use for my astigmatism, and i really found this solution interesting and fascinating.