Anxiety comes in two varieties. There’s common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re involved with a crisis. Some people experience anxiety even when there aren’t any distinct events or worries to attach it to. They feel anxious 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 usually more of a mental health problem than a neurological reaction.
Both types of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be particularly damaging if you have sustained or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are produced when anxiety is experienced. For short periods, when you really need them, these chemicals are a good thing but they can be harmful if they are present over longer periods of time. Specific physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be treated and persists for longer periods of time.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Melancholy and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- A feeling of being agitated or aggravated
- A feeling that something terrible is about to occur
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and raised heart rate
- General aches or soreness in your body
But chronic anxiety doesn’t always manifest in the ways that you might anticipate. Anxiety can even impact obscure body functions including your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been linked to:
- High Blood Pressure: And some of the consequences of anxiety are not at all surprising. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have really adverse effects on the body. It’s certainly not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of persistent anxiety. After all, the ears are typically in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get worse, but did you know that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to progress over time. This is called tinnitus (which, itself can have a variety of other causes as well). In certain circumstances, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Generally on a hearing blog like this we would normally focus on, well, hearing. And your how well to hear. With that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how anxiety and hearing loss can feed one another in some slightly disturbing ways.
The solitude is the primary issue. When someone has tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance problems, they tend to pull away from social interactions. You might have seen this in your own family. Perhaps a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat themselves. The same goes for balance problems. 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 problems.
There are also other reasons why anxiety and depression can lead to social isolation. When you do not feel like yourself, you don’t want to be around others. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. That feeling of isolation can set in quickly and it can result in a host of other, closely associated problems, such as cognitive decline. For somebody who struggles with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that move toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Determining How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why getting the correct treatment is so important.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re dealing with, obtaining proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. And in terms of anxiety and depression, connecting with others who can relate can be really helpful. Prolonged anxiety is more serious when there is an overwhelming sense of solitude and dealing with the symptoms can be helpful with that. So that you can figure out what treatments are best for you, talk to your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids could be the best option as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy might be required. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been demonstrated to help deal with tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be seriously affected by anxiety.
We also know that hearing loss can result in isolation and mental decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty difficult situation. Thankfully, we have treatments for both conditions, and getting 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 counteracted. The sooner you get treatment, the better.