How Does Aging Change Your Senses?

How Does Aging Change Your Senses? | Neuroscience & Spine Associates

As we age our body experiences many changes. Sometimes these changes can directly affect the way that your senses function. While many of us have accepted that we may need hearing aids and glasses, we often don’t consider how our other senses are affected by the aging process.

Smell

Reports indicate that more than 75% of people over the age of 80 experience some type of impairment in their sense of smell. The majority of the loss of smell is most likely based on a decreased ability to replace lost cells. Alzheimer’s disease can also affect your sense of smell.

Taste

At birth our tongue has around 9,000 taste buds, and while the ability to regenerate taste buds can lessen with age, the taste buds are usually not to blame for a loss of the sense of taste. The true culprit in taste loss is usually the sense of smell, because smell plays a large part in detecting taste.

When to see a Neurologist for Balance Disorders

When to see a Neurologist for Balance Disorders | Neuroscience & Spine Associates

It happens without a thought, but maintaining proper balance is quite a complicated system. In order to maintain this balance, many parts of the body’s nervous system must be working properly and communicating efficiently, including:

  • Inner ears
  • Eyes
  • Skin pressure receptors
  • Muscle and joint sensory receptors
  • Central nervous system (brain and spinal cord)

Because balance is maintained through a series of complex interactions, it can actually be difficult to determine what is malfunctioning. If you are experiencing dizziness, lightheadedness, a spinning sensation, confusion, or blurred vision the first step is to speak with your primary care physician. He or she will begin the process of testing to determine the cause and may refer you to a local neurologist for some aspects of treatment.

Common Tests for Balance Disorders

Tests of Hearing

Many balance disorders are associated with inner ear problems.

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