Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Health Care and the Five Senses

What's that smell? Do you hear that noise? Taste this! Look at me! Feel this, isn't it soft? When you hear, or even use these phrases, you probably don't stop to think about why we use them, according to ThinkQuest.org. Well, it's because of your senses; and without you even knowing, your sense organs (nose, eyes, ears, tongue, and skin) are taking in information and sending it to the brain for processing. If you didn't have them, you would not be able to smell, see, hear, taste, or touch anything. Talk about a boring life! Your senses are the physical means by which all living things see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. Each sense collects information about the world and detects changes within the body. Both people and animals get all of their knowledge from their senses, and that is why your senses are so important.

The human body is a phenomenal creation, and it has the ability to detect many sources of stimulation. According to HowStuffWorks.com, the standard list of five senses doesn't really give our bodies credit for all of the amazing things they can do, and there are at least a dozen different things you can sense. In order for you to have a sense, there needs to be a sensor. Each sensor is tuned to one specific sensation. For example, there are sensors in your eyes that can detect light. That is all that they can detect. To track down all of the different senses a person has, the easiest thing to do is to catalog all of the different sensors.

All senses depend on the working nervous system, according to ThinkQuest.org. Your sense organs start to work when something stimulates special nerve cells called receptors in a sense organ. You have five main sense organs. They are the eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin. Once stimulated, the receptors send nerve impulses along sensory nerves to the brain. Your brain then tells you what the stimulus is. For example, your sound receptors would be bombarded by billions of sound waves. When these signals reach the part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, you become conscious of the sounds. Also, consider more info about how the senses work at this website: http://www.scientificpsychic.com/workbook/chapter2.htm .

According to HowStuffWorks.com, here is a reasonable list of the sensors:
--In your eyes, you have two different types of light sensors. One set of sensors, called the rods, senses light intensity and works well in low-light situations. The other type, called cones, can sense colors (and actually, there are three different types of cones for the three primary colors) and require fairly intense light to be activated.
--In your inner ears, there are sound sensors. Also in your ears are sensors that let you detect your orientation in the gravitational field -- they give you your sense of balance.
--In your skin, there are at least five different types of nerve endings:
-Heat sensitive.
-Cold sensitive.
-Pain sensitive.
-Itch sensitive.
-Pressure sensitive. These cells give you the sense of touch, sense of pain, sense of temperature and sense of itch.
--In your nose, there are chemical sensors that give you your sense of smell.
--On the tongue, there are chemical receptors that give us our sense of taste.

In your muscles and joints, according to HowStuffWorks.com, there are sensors that tell you where the different parts of your body are and about the motion and tension of the muscles. These senses let us, for example, touch our index fingers together with our eyes shut. In your bladder, there are sensors that indicate when it is time to urinate. Similarly, your large intestine has sensors that indicate when it is full. There are also the senses of hunger and thirst. And, according to ThinkQuest.org, hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are known as our external senses. They provide information about the outside world. Pain, balance, thirst, and hunger are considered to be our internal senses. They provide information about the body and its needs. For example, the sense of hunger shows that the body needs food.

According to Answers at Yahoo.com, the primary senses help you survive and process huge amounts of information on a 24/7 basis. Consider the following:
1.) Eyes: See, interpret color, depth perception, interpret sensory input and new information.
2.) Ears: Hear sound, balance with equilibrium regulate pressure of sinus and adjusting with change in pressure.
3.) Nose : Used to smell scent, smell is the strongest link to memory; it is processed by the olfactory system in your brain, used to interpret the different smells.
4.) Tongue: In general used to taste, used to differentiate between taste due to tastebuds all sectioned on their own on the tongue surface. Also, it senses whether food is hot or could. also helps in the swallowing procedure as it forms and moves the bolus (the shape food takes before swallowed).
5.) Skin:
--Protection: an anatomical barrier from pathogens and damage between the internal and external environment in bodily defense; Langerhans cells in the skin are part of the adaptive immune system.
--Sensation: contains a variety of nerve endings that react to heat and cold, touch, pressure, vibration, and tissue injury.
--Heat regulation: the skin contains a blood supply far greater than its requirements which allows precise control of energy loss by radiation, convection and conduction. Dilated blood vessels increase perfusion and heat loss while constricted vessels greatly reduce cutaneous blood flow and conserve heat. Erector pili muscles are significant in animals.
--Control of evaporation: the skin provides a relatively dry and impermeable barrier to fluid loss. Loss of this function contributes to the massive fluid loss in burns.
--Aesthetics and communication: others see our skin and can assess our mood, physical state and attractiveness.
--Storage and synthesis: acts as a storage center for lipids and water, as well as a means of synthesis of vitamin D by action of UV on certain parts of the skin.
--Excretion: sweat contains urea, however its concentration is 1/130th that of urine, hence excretion by sweating is at most a secondary function to temperature regulation.
--Absorption: Oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide can diffuse into the epidermis in small amounts, some animals using their skin for their sole respiration organ. In addition, medicine can be administered through the skin, by ointments or by means of adhesive patch, such as the nicotine patch or iontophoresis. The skin is an important site of transport in many other organisms.
--Water resistance: The skin acts as a water resistant barrier so essential nutrients aren't washed out of the body.

Overall, the sensory perceptions you encounter all day long, and even when you are asleep, maintain an ongoing awareness to your brain about your surroundings; and they work in concert to keep you safe, provide warning, provide the ability for your brain to process information, and much more. Whenever one or more of your senses is damaged, your body and brain provide an adaptability for you to compensate for that loss for survival and ongoing healthy living. When the senses are working together, your physical and mental abilities have the capacity to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Until next time. Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

Steve said...
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