Anxiety comes in two forms. When you are dealing with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is referred to as common anxiety. And then you can have the kind of anxiety that isn’t necessarily attached to any one worry or event. They feel anxious regularly, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s just present in the background throughout the day. This second type is usually the type of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Both types of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be particularly harmful if you feel extended or chronic anxiety. When it’s anxious, your body produces a myriad of chemicals that heighten your alert status. It’s a good thing in the short term, but damaging over extended periods of time. Certain physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be treated and remains for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Symptoms of anxiety commonly include:
- Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
- Paranoia about impending crisis
- Bodily pain
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and increased heart rate
- Feeling like you’re coming out of your skin
But sometimes, anxiety manifests in surprising ways. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety could actually end up impacting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been linked to:
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety affects your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have an array of negative secondary effects on your body. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, bad news. High blood pressure has also been known to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you know that there is evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several other factors). In some circumstances, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
- Dizziness: Persistent anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is a condition that may also stem from the ears. Keep in mind, the sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Because this is a hearing website, we usually tend to concentrate on, well, the ears. And your ability to hear. So let’s talk a little about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.
First off, there’s the isolation. When someone has tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance issues, they often pull away from social interactions. You might have experienced this with your own family. Maybe your mother or father got tired of asking you to repeat yourself, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they withdrew from conversations. The same holds true for balance issues. It could affect your ability to drive or even walk, which can be embarrassing to admit to friends and family.
Social isolation is also associated with anxiety and depression in other ways. When you don’t feel yourself, you won’t want to be with other people. Unfortunately, this can be something of a loop where one feeds the other. That feeling of solitude can develop quickly and it can lead to a host of other, closely related problems, like decline of cognitive function. For someone who struggles with anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that move toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Finding The Proper Treatment
Getting the correct treatment is important particularly given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.
All of the symptoms for these disorders can be assisted by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Interacting with others has been demonstrated to help relieve both depression and anxiety. Certainly, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make chronic anxiety more extreme. Consult with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your options for treatment. Hearing aids might be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. The most appropriate treatment for anxiety may involve medication or therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help manage 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 recognized as a consequence of hearing loss. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty difficult situation. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be achieved 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 reversed. The sooner you get treatment, the better.