Special Sub-Topic: My Life So Far
|When I was born my eyesight was not fully developed. Although I could see colour there was one I could not recognise. What was it?|
Blue. Babies see in colour from birth. At first only strong primary colours cause any reaction, although for some reason this does not include blue. As the eyesight improves and focuses strong shades of colour and highly defined patterns are recognised. Full vision as an adult would understand it is fully developed by around a year old.
|For my parents the next big stage was seeing me walk. When I started walking I went round the room holding onto handy pieces of furniture. What is this stage called?|
Cruising. When they first come to their feet most toddlers are not steady enough or confident enough to move around without holding on to anything. They navigate around by holding onto handy pieces of furniture, or anything else in reach that is stable, and can reach quite fast speeds this way. Once this cruising stage starts it is not generally very long before they are walking completely independently of support.
|Puberty is the biggest change of all. For girls what are the the first signs of this?|
Breast and pubic hair growth. On average girls start puberty at ten years old, although it can be up to two years earlier or three years later. The first signs are breast growth and pubic hair growth. The first period comes about two years after the first signs of puberty, and this also coincides with the greatest spurt in height.
Boys are approximately two years later in starting puberty than girls.
|Eventually we all reach the stage where the height spurt stops and we reach our maximum height. Who, on average, reaches maximum height earliest, boys or girls?|
Girls. Both sexes have a growth spurt during puberty, but once puberty is over this settles down and there is only gradual growth afterwards. By around the age of seventeen or eighteen most girls will have reached their maximum adult height. On average boys tend to carry on growing for longer than girls, so are often between twenty and twenty two when they reach full height.
|I've reached the stage in my life where I want to have a baby, but after three months of trying nothing has happened. What should I do?|
Keep trying, three months isn't very long. Most women do not become pregnant immediately. It can take several months before the desired result. If nothing has happened after nine to twelve months then seeing the Doctor to ensure there is no medical reason could be a good idea. Many couples become very stressed when a pregnancy does not happen and this can affect fertility. Quite often couples who have given up find that they then relax, stop worrying about it, and pregnancy follows.
|Now I am pregnant I know I must watch my weight. What kind of eating programme should I adopt?|
Eat my normal portion size. Since 1990 the Institute of Medicine recommended weight gain for a woman who starts off at a healthy weight has been twenty five to thirty five pounds. The Institute of Medicine also recommend that overweight women gain only eleven pounds, but anyone who is underweight can gain up to forty pounds. A healthy diet of normal sized portions should be completely adequate for most people.
|The next big milestone in life for women is generally the menopause. What are the first symptoms of this?|
Any and all of these (Irregular periods, Mood swings, Hot flushes). The menopause marks the end of your fertile life. Whilst various symptoms will manifest themselves some women experience little or no inconvenience, and have the whole thing over and done with in a year, whilst others find it goes on for several years before the process is complete. All of the symptoms can be alleviated with medication from your doctor.
|As the ageing process continues I hope to avoid brittle bone disease. What is the correct name for this?|
Osteoporosis. Primary type 1 osteoporosis (literally porous bones) is seen mainly in postmenopausal women. The bones loose density and fracture easily. Senile osteoporosis affects both men and women equally, and is seen around age 75 and upwards. Correct diet and exercise may both play a part in helping to avoid this disease.
|Another problem to affect us all is age related hearing loss. Assuming nothing has happened to damage our hearing which range of sounds is the first we stop hearing as clearly?|
High Frequency. Normal age related hearing loss starts in your twenties. The deterioration is very gradual and most people don't notice any difference in their hearing until they are in their fifties. High register sounds are the first to go.
In the UK some councils tried an experiment where they played a high pitched whine over speakers to deter large groups of teenagers from congregating in certain areas. They found the sound unbearable and moved on, but people in their mid twenties and upwards heard either only a slight buzzing noise or nothing at all.
|My mother always said that if you look after your skin you will look younger for longer. What is the biggest cause of premature ageing in skin?|
Sun exposure. The biggest cause of skin damage is too much sun exposure, followed by smoking. Over exposure to the sun dries and damages the skin so that it looses elasticity sooner, allowing lines and wrinkles to appear earlier in life. Most people will start to develop fine lines in their forties, followed by wrinkles in their fifties and sixties almost no matter what they do.
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