Anxiety comes in two varieties. When you are coping with an emergency situation, that feeling that you have is called common anxiety. And then you can have the kind of anxiety that isn’t actually connected to any one worry or event. They feel anxious frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s just there in the background throughout the day. This second type is generally the type of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Both forms of anxiety can be very detrimental to the physical body. Long periods of persistent anxiety can be particularly negative. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are produced when anxiety is experienced. For short periods, when you genuinely need them, these chemicals are good but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer periods of time. Certain physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be managed and lasts for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling agitated or aggravated
- Overall aches or discomfort in your body
- Feeling like something horrible is about to happen
- Depression and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- A thumping heart or difficulty breathing commonly associated with panic attacks
But chronic anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you might predict. Indeed, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety might actually end up affecting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been associated with:
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get 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 called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several 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 certain ways that anxiety influences your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure often has very negative effects on the body. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been known to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Dizziness: Persistent 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 inside of your inner ears which 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 your ability to hear. So let’s talk a bit about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.
The isolation is the primary concern. People often withdraw from social activities when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. Maybe you’ve seen this with somebody you know. Perhaps your mother or father got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. The same is true for balance issues. It can be tough to admit to your family and friends that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance troubles.
Social isolation is also associated with depression and anxiety for other reasons. When you don’t feel yourself, you won’t want to be with other people. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. That sense of isolation can develop quickly and it can result in a host of other, closely associated problems, including decline of cognitive function. It can be even more difficult to combat the effects of isolation if you’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety.
Determining How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why getting the correct treatment is so crucial.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, getting proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Interacting with others has been shown to help reduce both depression and anxiety. Certainly, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that could make chronic anxiety more extreme. In order to decide what treatments will be most effective for your situation, talk to your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on the results of your hearing test, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus might involve hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy might be necessary. Tinnitus has also been found to be successfully treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand that your mental and physical health can be seriously impacted by anxiety.
We also know that hearing loss can lead to isolation and cognitive decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a very challenging situation. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be accomplished by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. The health impacts of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body does not have to last. The key is finding treatment as soon as possible.