Anxiety comes in two kinds. When you are involved with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is called common anxiety. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t necessarily connected to any one worry or event. Regardless of what’s happening around them or what they’re thinking about, they frequently feel anxiety. It’s just there in the background throughout the day. This sort of anxiety is normally more of a mental health concern than a neurological response.
Regrettably, both types of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be especially harmful if you experience extended or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are released during times of anxiety. For short durations, when you really need them, these chemicals are a positive thing but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer periods of time. Certain physical symptoms will start to manifest if anxiety can’t be managed and lasts for longer periods of time.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety typically include:
- Paranoia about impending disaster
- A racing heart or difficulty breathing often linked to panic attacks
- Feeling like you are coming out of your skin
- Loss of interest and depression
- Physical weakness
- General pain or soreness in your body
But persistent anxiety doesn’t always manifest in the ways that you might predict. Indeed, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety could actually end up impacting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been associated with:
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you realize that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several other factors). For some, this may even reveal itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of chronic anxiety. Keep in mind, your sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And some of the effects of anxiety are not at all surprising. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have all kinds of negative secondary effects on your body. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, bad news. High blood pressure has also been known to cause hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Typically on a hearing blog such as this we would normally concentrate on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a little about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
First of all, there’s the solitude. People often pull away from social experiences when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. You may have experienced this with your own family members. Perhaps one of your parents got tired of asking you to repeat yourself, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. Issues with balance come with similar difficulties. It may influence your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to family and friends.
There are also other reasons why depression and anxiety can lead to social isolation. When you don’t feel yourself, you won’t want to be around others. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. The negative impact of isolation can happen rapidly and will lead to several other problems and can even result in mental decline. It can be even more challenging to overcome the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Discovering The Right Treatment
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why getting the correct treatment is so key.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re struggling with, finding correct treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Interacting with others has been demonstrated to help alleviate both anxiety and depression. At the very least, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make chronic anxiety more severe. In order to determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, talk to your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may involve hearing aids. The right treatment for anxiety might involve therapy or medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been proven to help control tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand that your mental and physical health can be seriously impacted by anxiety.
We also realize that hearing loss can lead to isolation and cognitive decline. Together with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Fortunately, a positive difference can be achieved by getting the right treatment for both conditions. The health impacts of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t need to last. The sooner you get treatment, the better.