Anxiety comes in two kinds. 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 really connected to any one event or concern. They feel the anxiety regularly, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s just there in the background all through the day. This type of anxiety is usually more of a mental health problem than a neurological response.
Regrettably, both types of anxiety are harmful for the human body. Prolonged periods of chronic anxiety can be especially bad. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are produced when anxiety is experienced. For short durations, when you genuinely require them, these chemicals are a good thing but they can be damaging if they are produced over longer time periods. Over time, anxiety that can’t be managed or controlled will start to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety often consist of:
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and raised heart rate
- A feeling of being agitated or irritated
- Physical weakness
- Overall pain or soreness in your body
- Melancholy and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- Feeling like something terrible is about to occur
But chronic anxiety doesn’t necessarily appear in the ways that you would anticipate. Anxiety can even impact obscure body functions such as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been linked to:
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only worsens the ringing in your ears but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which, itself can have many other causes as well). For a few, this could even reveal itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
- High Blood Pressure: And a few of the consequences of anxiety are not at all unexpected. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have very adverse effects on the body. It is, to use a colloquialism, not so great. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of prolonged anxiety. Do not forget, the sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Typically on a hearing blog like this we would tend to focus on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a little about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
The isolation is the first and foremost concern. People tend to pull away from social activities when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. Maybe you’ve experienced this with somebody you know. Perhaps a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. The same goes for balance issues. It could influence your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to family and friends.
Social isolation is also connected to depression and anxiety for other reasons. When you do not feel yourself, you don’t want to be with other people. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. The negative impact of isolation can occur rapidly and will result in several other problems and can even result in mental decline. It can be even more difficult to fight the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Choosing The Appropriate Treatment
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why finding the best treatment is so key.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re struggling with, obtaining correct treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Connecting with others has been demonstrated to help relieve both anxiety and depression. At the very least, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make prolonged anxiety more severe. So that you can figure out what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus could be hearing aids. The right treatment for anxiety might include medication or therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help control tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe consequences on your physical health in addition to your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a repercussion of hearing loss. When you add anxiety to the recipe, you can have a pretty challenging situation. Thankfully, we have treatments for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a huge, positive difference. 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 get treatment, the better.