Anxiety comes in two varieties. When you are coping with an emergency situation, that feeling that you have is called common anxiety. And then you can have the kind of anxiety that isn’t actually linked to any one worry or situation. Regardless of what’s happening 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 typically the type of anxiety that’s less of 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 damaging if you feel prolonged or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are secreted during times of anxiety. It’s a good thing in the short term, but damaging over extended periods of time. Over time, anxiety that cannot be managed or brought under control will start to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and raised heart rate
- Loss of interest and depression
- Paranoia about approaching crisis
- Bodily pain
But chronic anxiety doesn’t always manifest in the ways that you would predict. Indeed, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up impacting things as apparently vague as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been associated 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 all kinds of negative secondary effects on you physically. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, not so great. High blood pressure has also been recognized to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you know that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to progress over time. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several other factors). For some, this might even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
- Dizziness: Persistent anxiety can sometimes make you feel dizzy, which is an issue that may also stem from the ears. Remember, the sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to give attention to, well, hearing. And your ability to hear. So let’s talk a little about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
The isolation is the first and foremost concern. When somebody suffers from hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance problems, they often distance themselves from social contact. Perhaps you’ve seen this with somebody you know. Perhaps your mother or father got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not comprehending and so they withdrew from conversations. The same holds true for balance issues. 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 depression and anxiety for other reasons. Usually, you aren’t going to be around anyone if you’re not feeling like yourself. Unfortunately, this can be something of a circle where one feeds into the other. That sense of solitude can develop quickly and it can result in a host of other, closely associated issues, including cognitive decline. It can be even more difficult to overcome the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Discovering The Proper Treatment
Getting the correct treatment is significant particularly given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed each other.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re dealing with, obtaining proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Interacting with others has been shown to help reduce both depression and anxiety. Chronic anxiety is more serious when there is a strong sense of isolation and dealing with the symptoms can help with that. In order to determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus might be hearing aids. The right treatment for anxiety may involve therapy or medication. Tinnitus has also been found to be successfully treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe consequences for your physical health and your mental health.
We also know that hearing loss can lead to isolation and cognitive decline. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult 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 counteracted. The sooner you find treatment, the better.