Stay Sensible, Protect Your Senses
Our five senses are important and allow us to interact with the world around us. However, as we get older, many of us start to lose these senses. Some of this can be prevented by taking precautionary measures throughout our life. Here are a few ways that you can protect your senses.
Our pupils shrink by a third by the time we reach 60. Because of this, we need more light when reading as we get older. Reading in poor light can lead to presbyopia and cause us to require reading glasses.
Just not enough light can damage our eyes, too much light can also be harmful. Sunlight is known to increase the risk of AMD. This damage can easily be prevented by wearing high-quality sunglasses or a wide brimmed hat. Intense light in some industrial practices such as laser-cutting and welding can also damage our eyes and protection is recommended.
Diet and exercise are also thought to be important factors. Staying active can reduce inflammation and reduce AMD. Many foods that are high in vitamin K, A, C and E are also good for our eyes. These include leafy greens, whole grains and vegetables such as carrots (the idea that carrots can help you see in the dark isn’t entirely an old wive’s tale).
Many factors can also cause our ear health to deteriorate. In fact, a third of us are thought to suffer from some kind of hearing damage by the age of 65. Sounds over 85 decibels can cause permanent damage. These include gunfire, motor car sounds, construction machinery and live music. Wearing ear protection in these cases can prevent damage. Many work environments that involve loud noise exposure are required by law to supply safety equipment.
Listening to music too loud can also cause hearing loss – watch out for listening to music too loudly through headphones. You should also be careful listening to music in the car. Many people turn their music up to drown out the sound of the engine when at high speed but at this volume it may be too loud.
Smell & Taste
Smell & taste are both closely linked. Exposure to various chemicals has been known to negatively affect these senses. Smoking can also damage our sense of smell and taste. To help strengthen these senses, a good diet with lots of zinc is thought to be beneficial. Zinc is found in foods such as oysters, meat and baked beans.
Our sense of touch is largely dependent on the health of our nerve endings. Our hands can take a beating causing us to lose our sense of touch as we get older. Various factors that can cause nerve ending damage include handling hot items without gloves and not taking care with blades. Many people find that the sense of touch can also go in their lips and tongue as the result of eating foods that are too hot or drinking beverages that are too hot. Not wearing protective footwear can also damage the receptors in the soles of the feet.
Image Credit: Background