8 Ways To Protect Your Senses As You Get Older
With age comes wisdom. Unfortunately, it can also sometimes bring a declining sense of sight, smell, touch and taste. And that can radically reduce your quality of life.
Fortunately, there are ways that you can fight back – some of them common sense, and others that are not so obvious.
Let’s dig in and see how to protect your senses as you age.
As we get older, it can have a negative effect on our sense of touch. The receptors on our skin become less sensitive and, sometimes, they can become dulled compared to what they were like in our youth.
A great way to fight back against this is to dance more.
#Dance helps you reconnect with your body and encourages you to move in ways that you wouldn’t usually. #exercise Click To Tweet
The more you can get your body used to moving in space, the more the receptors in your body will respond to stimuli. Exercising them more increases their overall fitness.
Hug And Kiss More Often
Hugging and kissing are two additional ways of keeping your senses healthy as you get older. Pet your dog, schedule massages and kiss your significant other. All these activities engage sense receptors and can help to create new circuits in the brain.
Practice Smelling Aromas
If you have a diffuser in your home, you can experiment with essential oils and practice smelling various aromas. Common smells include things like lemon, clove, rose and eucalyptus. As you inhale these smells, you create new patterns in the brain which makes it easier to identify them in the future.
Try smelling them for a few minutes every day. Regularly switch between them so that you stimulate your nose in different ways. Experiments with a variety of fruity and herbal smells.
Avoid Cleaning Products That Emit Strong Fumes
Did you know that certain cleaning products that emit strong fumes can adversely affect your sense of smell?
It turns out that chemicals in many cleaning products actually damage the cells in our noses that detect smell.
They can also train the nose to smell particular types of fumes at the expense of more subtle aromas.
Instead of commercial products, try using natural alternatives. Vinegar, lemon and bicarbonate of soda will not harm the nose.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol can damage a range of senses, but particularly the nose. People who drink heavily are at a much higher risk of losing their sense of smell as they get older.
Long-term drinkers can notice profound reductions in their capacity to smell by age fifty, and much more severe smell loss by age 60.
If you still want to socialize with people, try opting for non-alcoholic beers and wines. These provide you with a similar experience, but without the intoxicating effects.
Protect Your Ears With Ear Plugs
Hearing is one of the most sensitive senses. As such, it is also highly prone to damage. People can experience long-term noise-induced hearing loss after just fifteen minutes of exposure to loud noises.
However, as you learn more about hearing loss, you realize that there is actually quite a lot you can do to prevent it. The most obvious solution is to avoid loud venues, particularly concerns, bars and clubs. However, if you can’t bring yourself to do that, you can try wearing hearing protection. Ear plugs are discreet and will reduce the worst of the noise.
Avoid Using Mouthwash Every Day
Mouthwash has its place, but you shouldn’t use it every day. Traditionally, people used it when they had tooth or gum infection – it wasn’t a matter of course.
Using mouthwash everyday can lead to a range of problems, one of which is dry mouth. This occurs when the salivary glands can’t produce enough saliva to keep the mouth lubricated. And, over time, it can also affect your ability to taste. It’s one of the reasons older people tend to over-season their food.
You can avoid this by reducing your mouthwash use and talking to your doctor about any medications that might be causing dry mouth.
Use Herbs And Spices In Your Cooking
You can also try adding more herbs and spices to your cooking. Like strong smells, they stimulate the taste buds and keep them active. Options for adding intense flavors include eating sharp cheeses, eating dried tomatoes or olives, and flavoring your food with vinegar.
Researchers believe that regular exercise may protect the eyes by improving the blood supply to the head. The better the blood supply reaching the eyes, the longer eyesight is likely to last. You should also try to get enough sleep to keep the eyes lubricated.