There are two kinds of anxiety. You can have common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re dealing with a crisis. And then you can have the type of anxiety that isn’t actually connected to any one event or concern. They feel anxious regularly, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s more of a general feeling that seems to be there all day. This second type is usually the kind of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Unfortunately, both kinds of anxiety are harmful for the human body. It can be particularly harmful if you experience prolonged or chronic anxiety. When it feels anxiety, your body secretes all sorts of chemicals that heighten your alert status. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over extended periods of time. Specific physical symptoms will start to appear if anxiety can’t be managed and persists for longer periods of time.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Physical weakness
- A feeling of being agitated or aggravated
- A feeling that something horrible is about to occur
- Loss of interest and depression
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and raised heart rate
- Bodily discomfort
But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety might actually end up impacting things as apparently vague as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been connected with:
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is a condition that could also be related to the ears. Do not forget, your sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only worsens 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). In some situations, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety influences your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have many negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s definitely not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be triggered by high blood pressure.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Since this is a hearing website, we usually tend to focus on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how anxiety and hearing loss can feed each other in some relatively disturbing ways.
To start with, there’s the solitude. When someone has hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance issues, they often withdraw from social contact. You might have experienced this with your own family members. Maybe your mother or father got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not comprehending and so they stopped talking so much. The same holds true for balance issues. It may influence your ability to walk or drive, which can be humiliating to admit to family and friends.
Social isolation is also associated with anxiety and depression in other ways. When you don’t feel like yourself, you don’t want to be around other people. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. That feeling of solitude can set in quickly and it can result in a host of other, closely related problems, such as cognitive decline. For somebody who struggles with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that move toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Figuring Out How to Effectively Treat Your Hearing Loss Issues
Getting the proper treatment is important particularly given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.
All of the symptoms for these ailments can be assisted by obtaining treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Interacting with others has been shown to help reduce both anxiety and depression. Prolonged anxiety is more serious when there is a strong sense of isolation and managing the symptoms can help with that. Check with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to look at your possibilities for treatment. 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. Tinnitus has also been shown to be effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be severely impacted by anxiety.
We also realize that hearing loss can bring about isolation and cognitive decline. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Thankfully, we have treatments for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a huge, positive effect. The health impacts of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body does not need to be long lasting. The sooner you get treatment, the better.