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How Does Sensory Processing Disorder Affect Senses?

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a complex condition that affects the brain’s effectiveness in communicating with the body’s senses. According to the SPD Foundation, it affects one in every 20 people in the general population. SPD may occur at any stage of life, and it has varied effects on the victims. It may impact one of your senses of multiple senses, making you too reactive or less reactive to stimuli. Keep reading to know how Sensory Processing Disorder may affect your senses.

Sense of Vision

An optimally functioning sensory processing system will effectively work with your eyesight to help you navigate the environment around. The case will, however, be different if you have a Sensory Processing Disorder. The condition will affect the way you register images with your eyes and the way you react to whatever you see. The other effects of an impaired sensory processing system to vision may include:

  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Non-consistent visual attention to activities
  • Eye itchiness and headache while executing or after visually demanding tasks
  • Difficulty in differentiating colors, letters, shapes, and pictures
  • Frequent collisions with things

Sense of Hearing

The brain uses a sensory processing system to interpret and respond to any audio information received through ears. If you have SPD condition, your sensory system won’t stimulate the auditory system. As such, you may respond wrongly to all the audio information received. You will also experience problems such as:

  • Ineffective communication
  • Difficulty in learning
  • Poor coordination of activities

Sense of Touch

The sense of touch is very important when it comes to tactile defensiveness. Tactile defensiveness is a mechanism through which the body detects external factors such as pain and channels them to the brain. The brain, in turn, initiates a freeze action to alert the body of a problem.

If you suffer from SPD, the process of sensory integration may not happen normally. Your body may interpret even the normal touch sensations as a threat since the sensory processing disorder might prepare the body for a fight every time you experience a touch. SPD may also trigger the opposite action making the body hyposensitive to touches.

Senses of Taste and smell

An optimally functioning Sensory processing system is important in determining the quality of foods, drinks, and other edible products. It executes sensory integration to allow people to choose their favorite meals, cosmetics, and so on. You can imagine what would happen if you suffer from a sensory processing disorder. The chances are that you may end up consuming bad foods and selecting the wrong products as the sensory integration system is not working optimally. This may be detrimental to your health and social status.


Sensory Processing Disorder affects individuals of all ages and in varied ways. Though the condition is not fatal in most instances, it may interfere with your optimal functioning and make life difficult. It is thus advisable to seek therapeutic help if circumstances require it. The therapists will examine your condition and guide you on how to live positively while managing the condition.

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