Anxiety comes in two forms. You can have common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re involved with a crisis. Some individuals feel anxiety even when there aren’t any particular events or worries to attach it to. They feel anxious frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized feeling that seems to be there all day. This sort of anxiety is usually more of a mental health concern than a neurological response.
Both kinds of anxiety can be very unfavorable to the physical body. It can be particularly harmful if you feel sustained or chronic anxiety. When it feels anxiety, your body secretes all kinds of chemicals that raise your alert status. For short periods, when you really 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 cannot be managed or controlled will begin to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Symptoms of anxiety commonly consist of:
- Depression and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- Feeling like something dreadful is about to happen
- Physical weakness
- A racing heart or difficulty breathing often associated with panic attacks
- A feeling of being agitated or irritated
- Overall pain or soreness in your body
But chronic anxiety doesn’t always manifest in the ways that you may predict. Indeed, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety could actually wind up affecting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been linked to:
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is commonly a symptom of persistent anxiety. Do not forget, the sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are regulating the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are some ways that anxiety impacts your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have an array of negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been known to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get worse, but did you know that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is called tinnitus (which, itself can have numerous other causes as well). In some situations, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Generally on a hearing blog such as this we would normally 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 hearing loss and anxiety can influence each other in some fairly disturbing ways.
First off, there’s the isolation. When a person suffers from tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance problems, they often withdraw from social contact. You might have experienced this with your own relatives. Perhaps a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat themselves. Issues with balance come with similar difficulties. It may influence your ability to walk or drive, which can be embarrassing to admit to friends and family.
Social isolation is also associated with anxiety and depression for other reasons. Normally, you aren’t going to be around anyone if you’re not feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. That feeling of isolation can set in quickly and it can result in a variety of other, closely associated issues, such as decline of cognitive function. For somebody who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that move toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Finding The Appropriate Treatment
Getting the correct treatment is important especially given how much hearing loss, tinnitus, anxiety and isolation feed each other.
All of the symptoms for these ailments can be assisted by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And as far as depression and anxiety, connecting with others who can relate can be really helpful. Certainly, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make prolonged anxiety more severe. Consult with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your choices for treatment. Depending on the results of your hearing test, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may involve hearing aids. The best treatment for anxiety might involve therapy or medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help control tinnitus.
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 shown as a repercussion of hearing loss. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a very difficult situation. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be accomplished by getting the right treatment for both conditions. Anxiety doesn’t have to have long lasting effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be counteracted. The key is finding treatment as soon as possible.