Anxiety comes in two kinds. You can have common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re dealing with an emergency situation. Some people experience anxiety even when there are no distinct events or worries to attach it to. No matter what’s going on around them or what they’re thinking about, they often feel anxiety. It’s more of a general feeling that seems to be there all day. This second form is typically the type of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Both kinds of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be especially damaging if you feel prolonged or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are produced when anxiety is experienced. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over extended periods of time. Certain physical symptoms will begin to appear if anxiety can’t be treated and remains for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling as if you are coming out of your skin
- Bodily pain
- Melancholy and loss of interest in day to day activities
- Physical weakness
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and increased heart rate
- Fear about impending crisis
But in some cases, anxiety is experienced in surprising ways. Indeed, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety could actually wind up impacting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been connected with:
- High Blood Pressure: And some of the effects of anxiety are not at all surprising. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have very negative effects on the body. It’s definitely not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you realize that there is evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several other factors). For a few, this may even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be caused by the ears, is commonly a symptom of persistent anxiety. After all, the ears are generally responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Typically on a hearing blog such as this we would tend to focus on, well, hearing. And your ability 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 relatively disturbing ways.
The solitude is the primary issue. People often pull away from social activities when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. Perhaps you’ve experienced this with someone you know. Perhaps one of your parents got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they withdrew from conversations. Issues with balance present similar difficulties. It could influence your ability to drive or even walk, which can be embarrassing to admit to friends and family.
Social isolation is also associated with anxiety and depression in other ways. When you don’t feel yourself, you won’t want to be around other people. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. That feeling of solitude can develop quickly and it can lead to a host of other, closely related problems, like cognitive decline. For someone who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that move toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Figuring Out How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why finding the correct treatment is so important.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re dealing with, finding proper treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. And as far as anxiety and depression, interacting with others who can relate can be very helpful. Certainly, managing 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, check with your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids might be the best option as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. And for anxiety, medication and other kinds of therapy could be necessary. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been demonstrated to help control tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand that your mental and physical health can be seriously impacted by anxiety.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been recognized as a consequence of hearing loss. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Thankfully, treatments exist for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a huge, positive effect. The health affects of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body does not have to be long lasting. The sooner you find treatment, the better.