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Table 21-3 Effects of Aging on the Sensory System
Terms in this set (22)
Corrective lens helpful, especially for reading (bifocals or trifocals)
Vision/Eye Changes: Lens accommodation decreases; lens loses elasticity resulting to Presbyopia ( far-sighted); difficulty seeing close objects or reading
Encourage use of hand rails, canes, and walkers. Advise to avoid fast moves or turns. Make client aware of dangers.
Vision/Eye Changes: Depth perception decreases resulting to difficulty judging height of curbs and steps; falls common
Encourage a defensive driving class. Avoid standing at client's side.
Vision/Eye Changes: Peripheral vision decreases resulting to driving may be dangerous.
Advise use of a night light. Advise person to avoid night driving if possible. Reading glasses may be needed. Wear sunglasses (especially amber, orange, or brown lenses) when outside.
Vision/Eye Changes: Pupil size decreases; ability to react to darkness and bright light decreases; night vision decreases resulting to takes longer for eyes to adjust when entering a dark room or bright sunlight. May require additional light for reading.
Use yellow, red, and black for signs. Surgical removal and replacement with artificial lens.
Vision/Eye Changes: Color perception decreases. Depth perception decreases. Clouding of lens resulting to difficulty hues of blue, green, and violet and distances. Cataract (may occur at any age)
Enhance client's self-esteem. Usually not treated.
Vision/Eye Changes: Grayish white ring (arcs seniles) forms around iris due to deposits of calcium and cholesterol salts. Vitreous gel liquifies resulting to may lower self-esteem and body image (does not affect vision). Posterior visual detachment (PVD), causing "floaters" in eyeball.
Advise about medication ("artificial tears"). Advise against rubbing eyes.
Vision/Eye Changes: Tear formation decreases resulting to dry, itchy eyes. More susceptible to infections.
Encourage regular visual examinations, including intraocular pressure measurement.
Vision/Eye Changes: Fluid circulation in eye decreases resulting in increased risk for glaucoma.
Counseling -- usually not treated. Counseling -- support client's self-esteem.
Vision/Eye Changes: Debris builds up in eyes. Color changes in sclera as a result of long exposure to sunlight (UV rays), dust, wind - ("flashers" and "floaters")
Surgical correction if vision is affected; advise against contact lenses.
Vision/Eye Changes: Weakening of eyelid muscles resulting to upper lids droop (ptosis); lower lids droop (ectropion)
Laser treatment and injections in some cases; special vitamins (AREDS formula) may be helpful.
Vision/Eye Changes: Macular degeneration as a result of loss of central vision; peripheral vision maintained longer; may lead to blindness
Prompt surgery to repair hole and prevent leakage of vitreous humor (may be done by laser, heat or cold).
Vision/Eye Changes: Retinal detachment resulting to separation of retina from back of eye, eventual loss of vision.
Control bold sugar levels.
Vision/Eye Changes: Diabetic retinopathy resulting to eye changes caused by diabetes; may lead to blindness.
Discuss hearing aid evaluation. Person may benefit from "helper" dog, telephone volume controls, or computerized phone messaging.
Hearing/Ear Changes: Functional and structural changes in ear structures, especially deterioration of cochlea (flattening and loss of hair cells), and fusing of ossicles, (impairing their movement) resulting to Presbycusis; progressive hearing loss (highest pitches lost first); certain consonants difficult to hear (K, T, S, P)
Face person when talking to him or her. Speak clearly but not too loud. Advise against driving, if hearing compromised. Advise use of hand rails and to avoid sudden movements.
Hearing/Ear Changes: Causes include injury; illnesses such as diabetes, otitis media and Meniere syndrome; bone formation around oval window; decalficiation of skull (interferes with bone conduction); nerve disorder; perception disorder; side effects of certain medications resulting to loss of perception of sound location, tracking sounds, normal conversation. Increased incidence of dizziness and tinnitus.
Vertigo may be relieved by specific exercises (Epley maneuver).
Hearing/Ear Changes: Calcium sludge forms in semicircular canals resulting in benign positional paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV, BPV)
Advise use of hand rails and other fall prevention. Advise person to change positions slowly.
Hearing/Ear Changes: Structural change affect balance and equilibrium resulting in increased incidence of falls. Dizziness on change of position.
Frequent ear examination and cerumen removal.
Hearing/Ear Changes: Increased cerumen buildup resulting to hearing loss.
Ear protection required in industry, rock bands, etc.; advise people not to play loud music in autos or when using ear buds.
Hearing/Ear Changes: Long exposure to loud noises, destroys hair cells in cochlea resulting to hearing loss.
Monitor nutritional status. Teach proper nutrition. Client may require dietary supplements, such as Ensure or Boost. Teach client to check expiration dates on containers.
Tastes Changes: Taste sensation decreases; may be caused by lack of sensation transmission to brain; decreased number and function of taste buds; (may be related to decreased sense of smell) resulting in decreased appetite; less enjoyment of food. May try to compensate by increasing salt and sugar intake, aggravating conditions such as hypertension and diabetes; risk for consuming spoiled foods.
Teach client to install smoke and CO2 detectors and preventive safety measures. Teach safe dietary modifications.
Smell Changes: Smell perception decreases resulting to may not smell smoke or poisonous substances (e.g., gas leak). Affects sense of taste.
Monitor client's overall condition; do not ignore complaints; observe for body language signs of pain.
Tactile Changes: Efficiency and the number of sensory nerve endings (all sensations affected decrease) resulting to stronger stimuli needed for person to perceive sensations; pain may not be perceived.
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