There are two kinds of anxiety. You can have common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re dealing with an emergency situation. And then you can have the kind of anxiety that isn’t actually linked to any one worry or situation. No matter what’s going on in their lives or what they’re thinking about, they regularly feel anxiety. It’s just present in the background throughout the day. This second kind is usually the type of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Regrettably, both kinds of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be particularly damaging if you have sustained or chronic anxiety. When it’s anxious, your body secretes all sorts of chemicals that heighten your alert status. It’s good in the short term, but damaging over a long period of time. Specific physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be managed and lasts for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms
Symptoms of anxiety typically consist of:
- A feeling that something terrible is about to happen
- Overall aches or discomfort in your body
- Physical weakness
- Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
- A pounding heart or difficulty breathing commonly connected to panic attacks
- Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up affecting things as apparently vague 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 scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have extremely adverse effects on the body. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, bad news. High blood pressure has also been known to lead to hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
- Dizziness: Chronic anxiety can occasionally make you feel dizzy, which is an issue that could also be related to the ears. Remember, your sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are regulating the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only worsens tinnitus but that it can also be responsible for the onset of that ringing. This is called 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).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Since this is a hearing website, we usually tend to give attention to, well, the ears. And your ability to hear. With that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we take a little time to talk about how hearing loss and anxiety can influence each other in some slightly disturbing ways.
The isolation is the first and foremost concern. People tend to withdraw from social experiences when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. Perhaps you’ve experienced this with someone you know. 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 withdrew from conversations. Issues with balance present similar troubles. It can be difficult to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance problems.
Social isolation is also linked to depression and anxiety in other ways. Usually, you’re not going to be around people if you’re not feeling like yourself. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a loop where one feeds the other. That feeling of isolation can develop quickly and it can result in a host of other, closely related problems, including cognitive decline. For someone who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that move toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Finding The Correct Treatment
Finding the proper treatment is significant especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, getting proper treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. And in terms of anxiety and depression, connecting with others who can relate can be extremely helpful. Certainly, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that could make persistent anxiety more extreme. So that you can figure out what treatments are best for you, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids could be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy could be necessary. Tinnitus has also been found to be effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
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. When you add anxiety to the recipe, you can have a pretty challenging situation. Thankfully, treatments exist for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a big, positive difference. Anxiety doesn’t have to have permanent effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be counteracted. The sooner you get treatment, the better.