Preserving the Fading Senses that Come with Age

March 20, 2018

When anything is used continuously over a lifetime, it dulls. Our senses are no exception. Three senses, in particular, fade as we age: hearing, seeing, and taste. It’s important that we make a conscious effort to monitor these senses and take proper action to maintain and improve them.

Keeping our ears healthy
Over time, we lose our hearing. The rate at which we lose it depends on many factors, such as the amount of damage we have done to our ears in the past and our genes.


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There are certain signs that indicate you might be experiencing hearing loss. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders offers a survey determining the severity of a potential hearing problem. The questions aim to determine how much frustration a hearing issue creates daily. It might be time to find a solution if it causes great frustration, such as a hearing aid.

Although hearing loss is a natural part of aging, you can still take certain actions to preserve your auditory senses. These actions mainly consist of preventing harmful noises from damaging your ears. For instance, you should limit earbud-volume noise levels when listening to music and wear protective gear when operating lawn equipment such as weed whackers, lawnmowers, and leafblowers. While these precautions should be used by everyone, they are especially important for older adults.

Maintaining Sharp Vision

At just 40 years old, we can begin to experience vision problems due to aging. It’s common at this time to utilize reading glasses to read documents we once could with the naked eye.

As we age past 40 and into our 50s, 60s, and beyond, we become increasingly susceptible to different vision problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma. Fortunately, many of these problems can be treated as they arise.

Keeping the mind sharp can help stave off some of the changes that come with age.

The Neurological Society of New Zealand (NFNZ) recommends various activities that help improve and sustain eyesight. Some of them are eating the right foods and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits. They note that eating fish and leafy greens can help preserve your retinas, while too many sugars and saturated fats can damage them. A regular exercise routine can reduce age-related retinal degeneration by up to 70 percent, and being a non-smoker makes you less susceptible to certain vision-impeding conditions.

Continuing to Taste and Smell

Our ability to taste and smell declines at 70. Smokers and those who live in environments with bad air quality might lose their senses sooner.

NFNZ notes that increasing Zinc intake is one way to preserve smelling capabilities. For taste, they recommend maintaining good dental hygiene habits and avoiding mouthwash. Instead, use a saline solution.

Our senses fade as we age. However, if we practice the proper habits and are mindful of activities that might damage them, we can strengthen them and keep them as sharp as possible.

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