There are two kinds of anxiety. There’s common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re dealing with a crisis. Some people experience anxiety even when there are no specific events or worries to attach it to. They feel the anxiety frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized feeling that seems to pervade the day. This second form is usually the kind of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Unfortunately, both types of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be particularly harmful if you have prolonged or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are released during times of anxiety. It’s good in the short term, but harmful over a long period of time. Over time, anxiety that can’t be treated or brought under control will start to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety frequently consist of:
- Melancholy and loss of interest in day to day activities
- Fear about approaching disaster
- General aches or soreness in your body
- Feeling agitated or irritated
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and raised heart rate
But persistent anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you might predict. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up affecting things as seemingly vague as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been associated with:
- High Blood Pressure: And some of the effects of anxiety are not at all unexpected. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have many negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s certainly not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be brought about by high blood pressure.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be caused by the ears, is often a symptom of chronic 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).
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you know that there is evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is known as tinnitus (which, itself can have many other causes too). For some, this could even manifest itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Typically on a hearing blog such as this we would tend to concentrate on, well, hearing. And your ability to hear. So let’s talk a little about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.
First off, there’s the solitude. When a person has hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance issues, they often distance themselves from social interactions. Perhaps you’ve experienced this with someone you know. Perhaps one of your parents got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not comprehending and so they stopped talking so much. Problems with balance come with similar troubles. It can be hard to admit to your friends and family that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you have balance problems.
Social isolation is also connected to anxiety and depression in other ways. 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. That sense of solitude can set in quickly and it can lead to a variety of other, closely associated problems, like cognitive decline. For someone who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that shift toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Figuring Out How to Effectively Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why getting the right treatment is so crucial.
All of the symptoms for these conditions can be helped by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Connecting with others has been shown to help reduce 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. In order to determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, check with your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids may be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. The right treatment for anxiety may involve therapy or medication. Tinnitus has also been shown to be effectively treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand that your mental and physical health can be severely affected by anxiety.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been recognized as a consequence of hearing loss. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Luckily, we have treatments for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a big, positive effect. The health impacts of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body does not have to be long lasting. The sooner you find treatment, the better.