Anxiety comes in two forms. When you are coping with a crisis, that feeling that you have is called common anxiety. And then there’s the kind of anxiety that isn’t actually connected to any one event or concern. They feel the anxiety frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s just present in the background throughout the day. This sort of anxiety is usually more of a mental health problem than a neurological reaction.
Unfortunately, both kinds of anxiety are harmful for the human body. Prolonged periods of chronic anxiety can be particularly bad. When it feels anxiety, your body produces all kinds of chemicals that heighten your alert status. It’s a good thing in the short term, but damaging over a long period of time. Specific physical symptoms will start to manifest if anxiety can’t be treated and lasts for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Symptoms of anxiety often include:
- Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
- General aches or soreness in your body
- A feeling of being agitated or aggravated
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and raised heart rate
- Paranoia about impending disaster
But persistent anxiety doesn’t necessarily appear in the ways that you would anticipate. In fact, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety could actually wind up affecting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been linked to:
- Dizziness: Chronic anxiety can occasionally cause dizziness, which is an issue that may also stem from the ears. Remember, the sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And a few of the effects of anxiety are not at all surprising. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have many negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only exacerbates the ringing in your ears but that it can also be responsible for the onset of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which, itself can have many other causes too). For some, this might even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to focus on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we take a little time to talk about how hearing loss and anxiety can influence each other in some fairly disturbing ways.
The isolation is the first and foremost issue. When somebody suffers from tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance issues, they often distance themselves from social interactions. You might have seen this in your own family members. Perhaps a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. The same goes for balance problems. It can be hard to admit to your family and friends that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance troubles.
There are also other ways anxiety and depression can lead to social isolation. Usually, you’re not going to be around anyone if you aren’t feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. The negative effects of isolation can occur rapidly and will lead to various 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.
Determining How to Properly Manage Your Hearing Loss Troubles
Finding the proper treatment is significant especially given how much hearing loss, tinnitus, anxiety and isolation feed on each other.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re dealing with, finding correct treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. And in terms of anxiety and depression, interacting 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 extreme. So that you can decide what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus could be hearing aids. The best treatment for anxiety may include therapy or medication. Tinnitus has also been found to be successfully treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences for your physical health in addition to your mental health.
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. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be achieved by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. Anxiety doesn’t have to have long lasting effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The sooner you get treatment, the better.