Effects of ageing
P5: Explain the physical & psychological changes which may be associated with ageing
There are a range of physical and psychological changes which may occur as ageing takes place.
There are many physical changes that occur during ageing which I will be talking about in this section, such as:
Skin – During your life there are many things that can affect your skin such as: sun exposure or personal habits such as smoking and diet. During ageing the skin will become thinner, less elastic & it will get wrinkled. Skin may also begin to bruise more easily, due to a loss of support around the blood vessel.
Bones - Bone mass is lost as people age, especially in women after menopause. The bones lose calcium and other minerals. The body will become shorter as the spinal disks will gradually loose fluid & become thinner.
Joints - The joints become stiffer and less flexible, they will also become more painful as the cartilage on the bone becomes thinner. The ligaments which reinforce the joints will also become thinner. Due to fluid in the joints decreasing the cartilage will begin to rub together & erode; this can be very painful & can lead to arthritis.
Muscles – As you age the muscles will become weaker. Due to a loss of tissue muscle the body mass will decrease. During ageing the muscle fibers will begin to shrink; muscle tissue is replaced very slowly. Muscles will have less tone & less ability to contract. They will also become rigid with age.
Due to the nervous system being affected as you age the senses are also affected. During ageing the senses of balance will become impaired. The senses will become less sharp and you may have trouble telling apart details. Due to sensory changes you may struggle with communicating, enjoying activities & keeping up you social life; this can all lead to isolation. For you to be aware of a sensation there must be a certain amount of stimulation; the minimum level of stimulation is called the threshold. Ageing will increase the threshold so the amount of stimulation you will need to feel the sensation will be stronger. Hearing & vision are most affected by ageing.
Hearing – As you begin to age your hearing will deteriorate with a failure to here high pitched sounds as well as this the structures in your ear will change & their functions will decline Age-related hearing loss is called presbycusis. It affects both ears. With this you may have trouble telling apart different stands or understanding others when there is background noise. Impacted ear wax can also cause trouble hearing and is common with increasing age.
Vision - All of the eye structures change with aging. The cornea becomes less sensitive, so injuries may not be noticed. By the time you turn 60, your pupils decrease to about one third of the size they were when you were 20. The pupil may react more slowly in response to darkness or bright light. The lens becomes yellowed, less flexible, and slightly cloudy. The sharpness of your vision will also decline; this condition is called presbyopia. As you older certain colors are harder to tell apart such as blues and greens. Weakened eye muscles may not allow you to move your eyes in all directions so your visual field will get smaller. When you age your eyes no longer produce enough tears & this may lead to dry eyes. There are many eye disorders that are common during ageing such as: cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration & diabetic & hypertensive retinopathy.
Taste and Smell – During ageing the ability to taste & smell will deteriorate. As you age the number of taste buds decrease & the remaining taste buds will lose mass. Salty & sweet are usually lost first followed by bitter & sour; your mouth will also begin to produce a lot less saliva which causes dry mouth. During ageing