OVERVIEW OF THE ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF THE ELDERLY (SENSORY SYSTEM…
OVERVIEW OF THE ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY OF THE ELDERLY
Atrophy of the epidermis occurs with age and is predominant in exposed areas.dermal collagen becomes stiff. the skin losses its tone and elasticity resulting in wrinkling. hair becomes grey because melanin production is decreased and nails develop striations and grow slowly
there is reduction in T cell production and natural antibodies causing it to be less effective
In old age the sense of touch also dimineshes.
Taste diminishes with age because of atrophy of taste buds.
Sensation of smelling is lost gradually due to decreased smell receptors.
Tympanic membrane become thick, ossicles undergo degenerative changes causing impaired hearing.
iris formation causes dry eyes. there is reduced pupil size and hampered vision at night.
Cartilage erodes and synovial membrane becomes friable. There is wear and tear on the joints which result in arthritic changes with poor mobility and articulation.
muscle cell lost is not replaced and leads to muscle atrophy leading to reduced proportion of muscle to body weight.
There are changes in structure and gait which changes the ability to ambulate. there is also posture changes. bone is lost due to calcium absorption, hormonal changes and increased re absorption rate. long bones appear disproportionate in size due to decreased stature.
insulin release and effectiveness is impaired even though production is not affected.oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone production are also affected.
There are structural changes in the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands which result in decreased hormonal production.
NEUROTRANSMITTERS AND NERVES
Reflexes, sensory and motor responses of the body become slow. deep tendon reflexes decrease with slowing reaction and altered baroreceptors affecting blood pressure control. neurotransmitters are altered resulting in increased depressive conditions.
Memory problems are increased after the age of 40 years. there is a slight decrease in size of the brain accompanied with reduced blood flow.
hormone production level is reduced as the man ages.
size and sperm production is reduced with ageing. there might be reduction in sex drive and erectile dysfuction.
ovulation ceases and oestrogen level fall making women more susceptible to osteoporosis. menopause occurs where a women does not go through menstruation.
Vaginal wall becomes thin due to epithelium. women experience decreased lubrication in vagina.
there is poor support of the uterus and bladder caused by reduced hormonal levels and less effective musculature.
benign hypertrophy occurs in older men resulting in altered patterns of micturition
The size and function of the kidneys begins to decrease in 40 years and significantly at 60 years. the urinary bladder decreases in storage capacity and urinary flow. there is an increase in residual urine and frequency. these changes contribute in an increase in nocturia.
The colon becomes hypo tonic which leads to increased storage capacity of food and stool. there is decreased gastric secretions and slowing of peristaltic movement which can cause constipation. there is loss of internal and external anal sphincters in old age.
it decreases in size and function which affects the ability to metabolize and excrete drugs.
The stomach shrinks with inflammation of the mucosa. the stomach produces insufficient amount of acid due to lack of vitamin B12 which may lead to acid deficiency called achlorhydria.
Teeth become more brittle, gums recede. there is reduction in taste buds and decreased saliva production which alters taste.
it becomes less effective because the cellia lining the trachea which helps push up dust, debris and mucus becomes less effective.
The chest wall becomes stiff along with larynx and trachea. the structure becomes more rigid due to increased muscle and connective tissue rigidity.
Mobility of the ribs decreases due to calcification of the ribs
They become rigid due to loss of elasticity, the functional unit of lung alveolar enlarges in size and the vital capacity decreases. Te lung capacity is altered due to reduced elasticity of the lung tissue. inspiratory and expiratory volumes decreases.
it increases due to reduced cardiac function and increased resistance.
they become stiff and less responding to hormones which relax the valve of vessels. There is reduced elasticity, increased lip deposition and collagen degeneration
Decreased stroke volume, decreased contractility and degeneration of the conducting system. dysrhythmia are more common