When anything is used continuously over a lifetime, it dulls. Our senses are no exception. Three senses in particular that fade as we age are our ability to hear, see and taste. It’s important that we make a conscious effort to monitor these senses, as well as take proper action to maintain and improve them.
Keeping our ears healthy
Over time, we lose our hearing. The rate we lose it at depends on a large number of factors, such as the amount of damage we have done to our ears in the past and our genes.
There are certain signs that indicate you might be experiencing hearing loss. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders offers a survey which determines the severity of a potential hearing problem. The questions aim to determine how much frustration a hearing issue creates on a day-to-day basis. 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 the aging process, 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 level when listening to music, and wear protective gear when operating lawn equipment such as weedwackers, lawnmowers and leafblowers. While these precautions should be used by everyone, they are especially important for older adults.
Maintaining sharp vision
We can begin to experience vision problems due to ageing at just 40 years old. It’s common at this time that we utilize reading glasses to read documents we once could with the naked eye.
Past 40 and into our 50s, 60s and beyond, we become more and more susceptible to different vision problems, such as cataracts and glaucoma. Fortunately, many of these problems can be treated as they arise.
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
At 70, our ability to taste and smell declines. Smokers and those who live in environments with bad air quality might lose those senses sooner.
NFNZ notes that one way to preserve smelling capabilities is to increase Zinc intake. For taste, they recommend maintaining good dental hygiene habits and avoiding mouthwash. Instead, use a saline solution.
Our senses fade as we grow older. However, if we practice the proper habits and are mindful of activities that might damage our senses, we can strengthen them and keep them as sharp as possible.