Anxiety comes in two varieties. When you are dealing with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is called common anxiety. And then there’s the kind of anxiety that isn’t really linked to any one worry or event. They feel the anxiety frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s just there in the background all through the day. This second form is typically the type of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Regrettably, both types of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be particularly harmful if you experience prolonged or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are released during times of anxiety. For short durations, when you genuinely need them, these chemicals are a positive thing but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer periods of time. Specific physical symptoms will begin to appear if anxiety can’t be managed and lasts for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Loss of interest and depression
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and raised heart rate
- Feeling as if you are coming out of your skin
- Feeling like something terrible is about to happen
- Bodily discomfort
But in some cases, anxiety manifests in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety might actually end up impacting things as seemingly vague as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been connected with:
- Tinnitus: Are you aware that stress not only worsens tinnitus but that it can also be responsible for the onset of that ringing. This is called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by many other factors). For some, this might even reveal itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
- Dizziness: Chronic anxiety can occasionally make you feel dizzy, which is an issue that may also stem from the ears. Do not forget, your sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And a few of the consequences of anxiety are not at all unexpected. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have various negative secondary effects on you physically. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, not so great. High blood pressure has also been known to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to give attention to, well, the ears. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a bit about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
To start with, there’s the solitude. People tend to pull away from social activities when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. You might have experienced this with your own relatives. Maybe one of your parents got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not comprehending and so they withdrew from conversations. The same is true for balance issues. It could influence your ability to walk or drive, which can be embarrassing to admit to family and friends.
Social isolation is also associated with depression and anxiety for other reasons. When you don’t feel like yourself, you don’t want to be with others. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. That feeling of solitude can develop quickly and it can result in a host of other, closely associated issues, including cognitive decline. It can be even more difficult to overcome the effects of isolation if you’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety.
Getting The Correct Treatment
Getting the proper treatment is important especially given how much hearing loss, tinnitus, anxiety and isolation feed each other.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, finding correct treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. And when it comes to depression and anxiety, interacting with others who can relate can be very helpful. At the very least, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make chronic anxiety more extreme. In order to determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, talk to your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids might be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. And for anxiety, medication and other types of therapy might be necessary. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help control tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe consequences for your physical health in addition to your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been recognized as a repercussion of hearing loss. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a very challenging situation. Thankfully, we have treatments for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a huge, positive difference. The health affects of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t need to last. The sooner you get treatment, the better.