There are two kinds of anxiety. When you are involved with an emergency situation, that feeling that you have is called common anxiety. And then you can have the type of anxiety that isn’t necessarily linked to any one worry or situation. They feel anxious frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized sensation that seems to be there all day. This second type is typically the kind of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Both types of anxiety can be very detrimental to the physical body. Prolonged periods of chronic anxiety can be especially bad. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are secreted during times of anxiety. It’s good in the short term, but damaging over a long period of time. Specific physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be managed and persists for longer periods of time.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Paranoia about approaching crisis
- A thumping heart or difficulty breathing commonly linked to panic attacks
- Bodily discomfort
- Depression and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety could actually end up affecting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been associated with:
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only worsens the ringing in your ears but that it can also be responsible for the onset of that ringing. This is called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several other factors). In some situations, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
- Dizziness: Chronic anxiety can sometimes make you feel dizzy, which is an issue that could also be related to the ears. After all, the ears are generally in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are certain ways that anxiety influences your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure often has extremely negative effects on the body. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, not so great. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be brought about by high blood pressure.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Since this is a hearing website, we usually tend to focus on, well, the ears. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a little about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
First and foremost, there’s the isolation. People often withdraw from social experiences when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. You may have seen this in your own family. Maybe a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat themselves. The same is true for balance problems. It can be tough to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you have balance problems.
There are also other reasons why depression and anxiety can lead to social isolation. Usually, you’re not going to be around people if you aren’t feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. That sense of solitude can develop quickly and it can lead to a host of other, closely associated problems, such as cognitive decline. For someone who struggles with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Determining How to Properly Treat Your Hearing Loss Troubles
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why getting the proper treatment is so key.
All of the symptoms for these disorders can be assisted by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And when it comes to depression and anxiety, interacting with others who can relate can be really helpful. Certainly, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make chronic anxiety more extreme. Seek advice from your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your choices for treatment. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus could be hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other kinds of therapy could be required. Tinnitus has also been found to be effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe repercussions for your physical health and your mental health.
We also know that hearing loss can result in isolation and mental decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty difficult situation. Fortunately, a positive difference can be achieved by getting the right treatment for both conditions. The health affects of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body does not have to last. The sooner you find treatment, the better.