What Makes Elderly People Have Different Tasting Abilities Versus Young People?

Decent Essays

What makes elderly people have different tasting abilities versus young people? Why does an individual’s taste in food drastically change, as they get older? Experts in this field of study are still extensively researching these questions. However, many professionals agree that the combination of smell and taste are what causes an individual’s tasting abilities to change significantly as they age. As people age, there is a significant deterioration in their tasting and smelling capabilities.
According to the article, “Aging Changes in the Senses” the number of taste buds decline as a person ages. In addition to the decreasing number of taste buds, the taste buds that do remain shrink in size. This reduction in taste bud number and size …show more content…

As discussed in the article, “Aging Changes in the Senses”, when a person reaches the age of seventy, there is a dramatic decrease in these nerve endings in the nose resulting in a decline in mucus production by the nose. The purpose of the mucus in the nose is to allow the odors to stay in the nose long enough for the nerve endings to sense the particular odor. These elderly people not being able to sense these odors is detrimental to their tasting abilities, being that the majority of tastes are associated with odors.
According to the article, “Taste and Smell” elderly people need an increased concentration of an element in the environment for them to be able to detect the scent properly compared to young people. This could be a potential threat to the elderly population’s health being that they are less likely to recognize harmful chemicals in the air. In addition, elderly people have been proven to find stronger smells less intense as they age due to these diminished nerve endings in the nose. When a person looses their ability to smell efficiently, this could cause a decrease in the enjoyment they have in food and their ability to distinguish all the different flavors of food, making eating overall more of a struggle for elderly people.
Many concepts relevant to this topic are discussed in the article titled, “Decline in Taste and Odor Discrimination Abilities with Age, and Relationship between Gustation and

Get Access