There are two types of anxiety. You can have common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re coping with an emergency situation. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t necessarily linked to any one worry or event. They feel the anxiety frequently, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s just present in the background all through the day. This sort of anxiety is normally more of a mental health concern than a neurological response.
Both forms of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be especially harmful if you have sustained or chronic anxiety. 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 a long period of time. Over the long run, anxiety that can’t be dealt with or controlled will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety frequently include:
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and raised heart rate
- Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
- Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
- Feeling like something terrible is about to occur
- General pain or discomfort in your body
But in some cases, anxiety manifests in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up impacting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been associated with:
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is commonly a symptom of prolonged anxiety. Keep in mind, the sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
- 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 often has very adverse effects on the body. It is, to use a colloquialism, bad news. High blood pressure has also been recognized to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you know 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 certain situations, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Generally on a hearing blog like this we would usually concentrate on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we take a little time to talk about how hearing loss and anxiety can feed each other in some fairly disconcerting ways.
The solitude is the primary issue. People often withdraw from social activities when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. Maybe you’ve seen this with somebody you know. Maybe a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat themselves. The same goes for balance problems. It can be difficult to admit to your friends and family that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you have balance problems.
There are also other ways anxiety and depression can lead to social isolation. When you don’t feel yourself, you don’t want to be around other people. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. The negative effects of isolation can occur quickly and will lead to several other problems and can even result in mental decline. It can be even harder to overcome the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Figuring Out How to Properly Manage Your Hearing Loss Troubles
Getting the correct treatment is important particularly given how much hearing loss, tinnitus, anxiety and isolation feed on each other.
All of the symptoms for these conditions can be assisted by obtaining treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Interacting with others has been demonstrated to help relieve both anxiety and depression. At the very least, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make persistent anxiety more severe. Consult with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to explore your options for treatment. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus might be hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy may be necessary. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been proven to help control tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be severely affected 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. Thankfully, treatments exist for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a huge, positive effect. 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 finding treatment as soon as possible.