Our five senses – vision, hearing, touch, smell, and taste – help us to experience and perceive the world around us. What better way to live your best life than to take care of your senses. Not looking after our senses can cause us to gradually lose them as we get older, resulting in a reduced quality of life. Here are some ways to look after your senses.
Lots of things can damage our sense of sight. Staring at a PC screen for long periods of time has been linked to myopia (farsightedness), which could mean having to wear reading glasses later on in life. More serious conditions like cataracts can be brought on by bad habits such as smoking or not wearing shades on a sunny day.
Meanwhile, a bad diet can lead to diabetes type-2, which can also damage your sight and even bring on blindness. Booking a regular eye exam can help to spot sight problems early. All in all, you should try to limit any activity that causes you to squint and should eat lots of fish and leafy greens if you want to keep your sense of vision sharp.
Hearing loss is most commonly caused by constant exposure to loud noises. Certain work environments such as construction sites, airports and nightclubs tend to have this constant loud noise. In such jobs, you should always wear ear protection to save your sense of hearing.
You should also be careful of putting objects in your ear that could damage your hearing such as cotton buds – in fact, research shows you’re much better off not using cotton buds at all.
It’s unlikely you’ll ever lose all sense of touch, although a spinal injury may numb most of the body. That said, there are many things that can cause you to lose your sense of touch in your hands. Repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome can often leave the fingers tingly and numb.
These injuries can be avoided by taking a break from an activity once it starts to hurt your grip or wrist. Another injury that causes a loss of touch is burns. Ovens are a common place where people suffer burns on their hands – use oven gloves and protect your sense of touch in this area. Excessive drinking can also cause numbness and tingling in the hands over time.
Our sense of taste and smell are closely linked and affected by many of the same things. Smoking is one of the biggest bad habits for killing off taste and smell receptors – give up the cigarettes if you want to preserve these senses.
You should also be careful of chemicals and pollutants in the air. People living in cities are most at risk of losing their taste and smell to road pollution – if you live on a busy road, it could be worth finding ways to ventilate your home such as installing air extractors and purifiers.
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