There are two forms of anxiety. You can have common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re coping with an emergency situation. And then you can have the type of anxiety that isn’t necessarily linked to any one worry or event. They feel anxious frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s just present in the background throughout the day. This second form is typically the type of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Regrettably, both types of anxiety are harmful for the human body. Long periods of chronic anxiety can be particularly negative. When it feels anxiety, your body releases a myriad of chemicals that heighten your alert status. It’s a good thing in the short term, but damaging over a long period of time. Over time, anxiety that cannot be managed or controlled will begin to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Loss of interest and depression
- A feeling that something terrible is about to occur
- General aches or soreness in your body
- A feeling of being agitated or irritated
- A racing heart or difficulty breathing commonly connected to panic attacks
But chronic anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you might anticipate. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety might actually end up affecting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been linked to:
- 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 which are controlling 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 progress over time. This is called tinnitus (which, itself can have numerous other causes as well). For some, this may even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety impacts your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have various negative secondary effects on your body. It’s certainly not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Generally on a hearing blog such as this we would usually concentrate on, well, hearing. And how well you 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 each other in some relatively disturbing ways.
First off, there’s the isolation. When somebody suffers from tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance issues, they tend to pull away from social contact. You may have seen this in your own family. Maybe a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat what they said. Problems with balance come with similar troubles. It could impact your ability to walk or drive, which can be humiliating to admit to family and friends.
Social isolation is also connected to anxiety and depression for other reasons. Normally, you’re not going to be around anyone if you’re not feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. That feeling of solitude can develop quickly and it can lead to a host of other, closely associated issues, including cognitive decline. For somebody who deals with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that move toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Getting The Proper Treatment
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why getting the best treatment is so key.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re struggling with, finding proper treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. Connecting with other people has been demonstrated to help reduce both anxiety and depression. At the very least, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make chronic anxiety more extreme. Consult your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your options for treatment. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus could involve hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other kinds of therapy might be required. Tinnitus has also been found to be successfully treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be seriously impacted by anxiety.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a repercussion of hearing loss. Together with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Luckily, treatments exist for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a big, positive difference. Anxiety doesn’t have to have long lasting effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The key is getting treatment as soon as possible.