Anxiety comes in two forms. There’s common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re dealing with an emergency situation. And then there’s the kind of anxiety that isn’t actually linked to any one worry or situation. Regardless of what’s happening around them or what’s on their mind, they often feel anxiety. It’s just there in the background all through the day. This second form is typically the kind of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Regrettably, both types of anxiety are harmful for the human body. It can be especially damaging if you have extended or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are produced during times of anxiety. It’s a good thing in the short term, but damaging over a long period of time. Over time, anxiety that can’t be managed or brought under control will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Bodily pain
- A feeling that something dreadful is about to happen
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and raised heart rate
- A feeling of being agitated or irritated
- Loss of interest and depression
But in some cases, anxiety is experienced in surprising ways. Indeed, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety could actually end up affecting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been connected with:
- High Blood Pressure: And some of the consequences of anxiety are not at all unexpected. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have various negative secondary effects on you physically. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, bad news. High blood pressure has also been recognized to lead to hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is commonly a symptom of prolonged anxiety. After all, the ears are generally in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are regulating the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get 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 called tinnitus (which, itself can have a variety of other causes as well). In some situations, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Typically on a hearing blog such as this we would normally concentrate on, well, hearing. And your how well to hear. With that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we take a little time to talk about how anxiety and hearing loss can feed one another in some slightly disconcerting ways.
The isolation is the primary issue. People tend to pull away from social activities when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. Perhaps you’ve experienced this with someone you know. Perhaps a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. Problems with balance present similar troubles. It may affect your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to friends and family.
There are also other reasons why anxiety and depression can lead to social isolation. When you do not 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. The negative effects of isolation can happen rapidly and will result in numerous other problems and can even result in cognitive decline. For somebody who struggles with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Discovering The Correct Treatment
Finding the correct treatment is significant particularly given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.
All of the symptoms for these ailments can be helped by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And as far as depression and anxiety, interacting with others who can relate can be really helpful. Certainly, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make persistent anxiety more extreme. In order to figure out what treatments are best for you, talk to your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on the results of your hearing test, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may be hearing aids. The right treatment for anxiety may include medication or therapy. Tinnitus has also been found to be successfully treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be severely affected by anxiety.
We also realize that hearing loss can result in isolation and cognitive decline. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be achieved by getting the right treatment for both conditions. The health impacts of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body doesn’t need to last. The sooner you find treatment, the better.