Anxiety comes in two forms. There’s common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re coping with a crisis. And then there’s the kind of anxiety that isn’t really attached to any one worry or event. Regardless of what’s happening in their lives or what’s on their mind, they often feel anxiety. It’s just there in the background all through the day. This sort of anxiety is normally more of a mental health problem than a neurological response.
Regrettably, both forms of anxiety are harmful for the human body. Extended periods of chronic anxiety can be especially negative. When it feels anxiety, your body releases a myriad of chemicals that raise your alert status. It’s good in the short term, but damaging over extended periods of time. Over the long run, anxiety that can’t be dealt with or brought under control will begin to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Melancholy and loss of interest in day to day activities
- A feeling that something horrible is about to happen
- A feeling of being agitated or aggravated
- General aches or soreness in your body
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and raised heart rate
- Physical weakness
But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety might actually end up impacting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been linked to:
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are some ways that anxiety impacts your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have really adverse effects on the body. It’s definitely not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.
- 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 many other factors). For a few, this might even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be caused by the ears, is often a symptom of prolonged anxiety. After all, the ears are generally in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Generally on a hearing blog such as this we would usually concentrate on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a bit about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
To start with, there’s the solitude. When a person suffers from hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance problems, they often pull away from social interactions. Perhaps you’ve seen this with someone you know. Maybe a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat what they said. Problems with balance present similar troubles. It may affect your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to friends and family.
Social isolation is also linked to depression and anxiety in other ways. When you do not feel like yourself, you don’t want to be with other people. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a circle where one feeds the other. That feeling of isolation can develop quickly and it can lead to a number of other, closely related problems, like cognitive decline. It can be even more difficult to overcome the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Figuring Out How to Effectively Manage Your Hearing Loss Troubles
Getting the correct treatment is significant particularly given how much hearing loss, tinnitus, anxiety and isolation feed each other.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re struggling with, getting proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Connecting with other people has been shown to help alleviate both anxiety and depression. Prolonged anxiety is more serious when there is a strong sense of separation and managing the symptoms can help with that. Talk to your general practitioner and hearing specialist to look at your possibilities for treatment. Hearing aids might be the best option as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. The right treatment for anxiety might involve medication or therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help control tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be severely affected by anxiety.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a repercussion of hearing loss. Together with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Fortunately, a positive difference can be achieved by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. Anxiety doesn’t have to have permanent effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The key is getting treatment as soon as possible.