Our brain can sometimes befunctioning inadequately, due to many external and human factors, which result in complex pathologies and manifest symptoms such asauditory hallucinations.

That is why in this article, we explainwhat auditory hallucinations consistof and the causes for which they manifest themselves.

What are auditory hallucinations?

To get into context, we are going to define what ahallucinationis and that is that according to the dictionary of theRoyal Spanish Academy (RAE), in its second meaning defines it as the “subjective sensation that is not preceded by impression in the senses”. (1)

Thus, and among the differenttypes of hallucinations, auditory hallucinations correspond tothose subjective perceptionsthat a patient suffers, of any type of sound thathas no contextwith the reality that surrounds it.

Note: In this regard, two types of auditory hallucinations are distinguished: simpleones such as tinnitus andcomplex onessuch as voices or musical sounds.

In this sense, most of these hallucinationshave their origin in endogenous factors of the patient, that is, that the individual suffers from some underlying pathology or a medically declared disease, which presents among its symptomsthese false auditory perceptions.

What causes auditory hallucinations?

There is awide variety of etiologies, which can give rise to auditory hallucinations and of which we describe the most common:

1. Hearing loss

Hearing loss occurs when a personhas lost the ability to perceive sounds through the ears, due to some pathology or having been exposed in their work to sounds (noises) of high intensities, among others.

Note: Musical hallucination has been described as a characteristic among elderly peoplewho report listening to fragments of songs that belong to their past.

This type of hallucination is considered non-psychotic in patients who suffer from it, such as people who suffer from tinnitus. (two)

2. Brain injuries

that originates them.

To highlight: Certain articles in the digital press have described that patients with this type of condition state that they perceive voices of their own thoughts , fragments of previous conversations and voices of other people with whom they had already spoken or simply had already heard them. (3)

On the other hand, the precise causes for which these hallucinations occur have not yet been clarified, for which there are a number of hypotheses (4) and commonly these auditory hallucinations are accompanied by Visual Hallucinations.

3. Psychiatric disorders

In people with psychiatric disorders, the presence of this type of hallucinations is very common.

4. Stress and tiredness

Stress and fatigue can cause behavioral disorders, such as anxiety and depression .

These psychological disorders can lead to a temporary brain imbalance , causing the appearance of some auditory hallucinations.

Note: In this case, auditory hallucinations may be associated with hypnopompic hallucinations or hypnagogic hallucinations .

5. Alcohol, drugs and psychotropic substances

The excessive consumption of alcoholic substances, some medications or the consumption of psychotropic substances, can cause alterations in the functioning of the brain and even permanent damage in brain areas in charge of speech processing, causing hallucinations.

How to treat auditory hallucinations?

There are some therapeutic strategies, designed to treat the pathology that causes auditory hallucinations and which we mention below:

1. Receive medical treatment in case of injuries

In the case of brain lesions, the first intervention is to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause and consider both drug therapy and surgical intervention, to try to reverse the damage caused by the lesions with the possible cure of hallucinations and for this there are specialties such as neurology and/or otorhinolaryngology.

2. Perform cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is intended for those cases in which the patient suffers from a mental disorderthat causes auditory hallucination. In these sessions, all the information is given to the patient about her health condition so that she is aware of it.

To highlight: It is expected that with the recovery of these behavioral disorders, the hallucinations will disappear.

3. Practice distracting activities

Another recommendation is to carry out activities that distract the patient’s attention from auditory hallucinations and for this there are a wide variety of options such as attending excursions, theater, cinema, sporting events, among many others.

Note: It is recommended in these cases, to carry out theseactivitiesin a group.

4. Avoid the use of psychotropic substances

Psychotropic substances in themselves are considered hallucinogenic , so it is not strange that people who regularly consume these substances suffer from hallucinations.

You should know: The recommendation in this case is the elimination of of these substances from the individual’s daily life.

5. Moderate alcohol consumption

Following the thread of the previous point, alcoholic substances consumed in excess are considered hallucinogenic, because they alter the chemistry with which the brain works correctly.

So the recommendation is also to moderate the consumption of these substances or eliminate them.

6. Get adequate rest and control stress

Another aspect to consider in the treatment for the remission of auditory hallucinations is quality rest. Sleeping at night, for a period of at least 7 continuous hours, is the golden rule. (8)

To highlight: Another recommendation is to control stress, through relaxation practices such as meditation , yoga or the practice of breathing exercises .

Key Findings

  • Auditory hallucinations correspond to those subjective perceptions of any type of sound that do not belong to reality.
  • Auditory hallucinations have their origin in endogenous factors of the patient, such as disorders, diseases or injuries in the brain.
  • Auditory hallucinations occur regularly in patients with psychiatric disorders.
  • Auditory hallucinations are a symptom of another, larger illness.

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