No 11. To facilitate the maintenance of the sensory function By: Ann Wilch Panaguiton
The sensory organs are very important part of our physical body. It is no wonder that Faye Abdellah even included it together with the other sustenal care needs that supports, prolongs and sustains life. There are five sensory organs and each has multiple functions that are unique and may be specific only to that specific sensory structure. Our sensory organs function to enable us all to enjoy our life here on earth, allowing us to see, hear, feel, smell and taste the pleasures of life has to offer. But moreover than the sensation of pleasure, other sensory functions are crucial to the maintenance of life.
To start with the two most important senses that researchers and health care professionals often prioritize in care are the sense of sight and hearing. Eye sight or vision not just allows us to see beautiful things and places or the faces of or loved ones but helps us perceive our environment. We can protect ourselves and be cautious of deleterious agents or elements in our environment with the use of our sense of sight. With our vision and or visual perception intact we can as well, manage to do a lot of things since for most of the times we do tasks that utilizes our eyes. A few examples are reading, writing, cooking, driving, studying, and handling machines or equipments. Important tasks we need to carry out including our activity of daily living or ADLs require our eyes. Next to the visual sense is the auditory involving the ear structures. Hearing is essential also to us individuals since it allows us to communicate and process information. Besides communication, we can also use the sounds we hear from our surroundings to anticipate things or to enjoy like listening to music or to the sounds of nature. The ear and its structures is not solely for sense of hearing but another important function is for our sense of balance. With an intact well-functioning auditory system we don’t only manage a good sense of hearing but a sense of balance and coordination as well which could also be important with regards to safety as well.
The other senses are the sense of touch, smell and taste. The skin or the integumentary is a system basically. Yet it is also a sense organ for one of its functions is the sense of touch. We individuals love affectionate gestures like hugs or embraces. We also love to hold beautiful things or stuffs in our hands and feel them in it. These are made possible by our sense of touch. I, myself love to feel the sands and water under my feet whenever I’m on the beach and to pamper myself in body massages or body scrubs whenever I feel stressed or wanted to alleviate myself of the painful body aches I have. With our sense of touch, we can enjoy life’s pleasure like these. Another important sensory function of the skin is also pain perception. Pain signals injury to the body or the cells. That is why pain is an important part of vital signs assessment. The last two senses are the sense of taste and smell. Just like the other sensory organs, they also have important functions. Some research findings have shown that the sensations from these last three organs are often times subjective due to the fact that it depends on the person’s perception. They may vary from one individual to another as to how things or stimuli are being perceived like the intensity of pain for instance. The smell of a certain perfume for the olfactory sense and the taste of one particular food may not yield the same perception on individuals unlike in vision and hearing where subjective findings are not often an issue. Subjective the perceptions may be for these sensory organs, the sense of touch, smell and taste still contributes vital functions to the person for the sustenance of life.
With just simple deductions made as to the sensory functions, it is already quite obvious how important the maintenance of sensory function is to a person and to the life processes. Our sensory organs and/ or structure need therefore to be kept protected and maintained in good state. Additionally, sensory perceptions involved intact neurologic functioning and thus, the neurologic system be maintained well and uninjured.