Anxiety comes in two varieties. There’s common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re coping with an emergency situation. Some individuals experience anxiety even when there aren’t any specific events or worries to connect it to. They feel the anxiety regularly, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s just there in the background throughout the day. This kind of anxiety is normally more of a mental health issue than a neurological response.
Regrettably, both forms of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. Prolonged periods of persistent anxiety can be especially negative. When it feels anxiety, your body releases all kinds of chemicals that raise your alert status. It’s a good thing in the short term, but damaging over extended periods of time. Certain physical symptoms will start to manifest if anxiety can’t be treated and lasts for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Overall aches or soreness in your body
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and increased heart rate
- Feeling as if you are coming out of your skin
- Feeling like something horrible is about to occur
- Loss of interest and depression
But persistent anxiety doesn’t necessarily manifest in the ways that you would predict. In fact, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up affecting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been linked to:
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only exacerbates the ringing in your ears but that it can also be responsible for the onset of that ringing. This is called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by numerous other factors). In some situations, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are some ways that anxiety influences your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have an array of negative secondary effects on your body. It is, to use a colloquialism, not so great. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be triggered by high blood pressure.
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is an issue that may also be related to the ears. After all, the ears are generally responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Typically on a hearing blog such as this we would usually focus on, well, hearing. And your how well to hear. With that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we take a little time to talk about how hearing loss and anxiety can feed each other in some relatively disconcerting ways.
First and foremost, there’s the isolation. When a person suffers from tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance problems, they often withdraw from social contact. You may have seen this in your own relatives. Perhaps a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. The same holds true for balance issues. It can be tough to admit to your friends and family that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you have balance troubles.
There are also other ways depression and anxiety can lead to social isolation. When you don’t feel yourself, you don’t want to be around other people. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. The negative effects of isolation can happen rapidly and will bring about several other problems and can even result in mental decline. For somebody who deals with anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that shift toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Choosing The Correct Treatment
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why finding the correct treatment is so important.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re dealing with, finding proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Interacting with other people has been demonstrated to help alleviate both depression and anxiety. At the very least, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make prolonged anxiety more extreme. Check with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your possibilities for treatment. Hearing aids could be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy could be necessary. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been demonstrated to help manage tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand that your mental and physical health can be seriously affected by anxiety.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been recognized as a consequence of hearing loss. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty challenging situation. Luckily, we have treatments for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a big, positive effect. The health impacts of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t have to be long lasting. The key is finding treatment as soon as possible.