Anxiety comes in two forms. There’s common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re dealing with a crisis. Some people experience anxiety even when there are no distinct situations or concerns to attach it to. No matter what’s going on around them or what’s on their mind, they regularly feel anxiety. It’s more of a general sensation that seems to be there all day. This kind of anxiety is normally more of a mental health problem than a neurological response.
Unfortunately, both types of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be especially damaging if you have prolonged or chronic anxiety. When it’s anxious, your body releases all sorts of chemicals that heighten 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 cannot be dealt with or controlled will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Paranoia about approaching crisis
- Depression and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- General pain or soreness in your body
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and increased heart rate
- Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. Indeed, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety might actually end up impacting things as apparently vague as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been associated with:
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of prolonged anxiety. After all, the ears are typically in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety influences your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure often has extremely adverse effects on the body. It is, to use a colloquialism, not so great. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus: Are you aware that stress not only worsens tinnitus but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several other factors). For a few, this might even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Since this is a hearing website, we typically tend to focus on, well, hearing. And your how well to hear. So let’s talk a little about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
To start with, there’s the solitude. When someone suffers from tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance issues, they tend to distance themselves from social contact. Maybe you’ve experienced this with somebody you know. Maybe your mother or father got tired of asking you to repeat yourself, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they withdrew from conversations. The same holds true for balance problems. It can be difficult to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance troubles.
Social isolation is also connected to anxiety and depression in other ways. When you do not feel yourself, you don’t want to be with others. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a circle where one feeds into the other. That feeling of isolation can develop quickly and it can lead to a number of other, closely related issues, such as cognitive decline. For somebody who deals with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that move toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Discovering The Proper Treatment
Getting the correct treatment is important especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed each other.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re dealing with, getting correct treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. And as far as anxiety and depression, connecting with others who can relate can be very helpful. Certainly, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make chronic anxiety more severe. Seek advice from your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your choices for treatment. Hearing aids could be the best option as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. The best treatment for anxiety might include therapy or medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been demonstrated to help deal with tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe consequences on your physical health and your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a consequence of hearing loss. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty difficult situation. Fortunately, a positive difference can be accomplished by getting the right 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 counteracted. The sooner you find treatment, the better.