There are two forms of anxiety. When you are coping with a crisis, that feeling that you have is referred to as common anxiety. And then you can have the type of anxiety that isn’t really connected to any one event or concern. They feel anxious frequently, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s just present in the background all through the day. This second kind is generally the type of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Unfortunately, both forms of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be particularly damaging if you have extended or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are produced when anxiety is experienced. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over extended periods of time. Over the long run, anxiety that can’t be dealt with or controlled will start to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Bodily discomfort
- Physical weakness
- Feeling agitated or aggravated
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and increased heart rate
- Feeling like something horrible is about to happen
- Melancholy and loss of interest in day to day activities
But sometimes, anxiety manifests in unexpected ways. Indeed, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up affecting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been connected with:
- 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 called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several other factors). In certain situations, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
- High Blood Pressure: And some of the effects of anxiety are not at all unexpected. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have various negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s certainly not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
- Dizziness: Persistent anxiety can occasionally make you feel dizzy, which is a condition that may also stem from the ears. After all, the ears are generally responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are regulating the sense of balance).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Since this is a hearing website, we typically tend to concentrate on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how hearing loss and anxiety can influence each other in some slightly disconcerting ways.
The solitude is the primary issue. When somebody has hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance problems, they tend to pull away from social interactions. You might have experienced this with your own family. Maybe one of your parents got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not understanding and so they withdrew from conversations. Issues with balance present similar difficulties. It can be hard to admit to your friends and family that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance troubles.
There are also other reasons why anxiety and depression can result in social isolation. Typically, you’re not going to be around people if you’re not feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. That feeling of isolation can set in quickly and it can lead to a variety of other, closely associated issues, including cognitive decline. It can be even more challenging to combat the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Figuring Out How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Troubles
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why getting the proper treatment is so key.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, getting proper treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. And in terms of depression and anxiety, connecting with others who can relate can be really helpful. At the very least, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that could make persistent anxiety more extreme. Talk to your general practitioner and hearing specialist to explore your possibilities for treatment. Hearing aids might be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. The right 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 recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe consequences on your physical health in addition to your mental health.
We also know that hearing loss can result in isolation and cognitive decline. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Thankfully, treatments exist for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a huge, positive difference. Anxiety doesn’t have to have permanent effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be counteracted. The key is getting treatment as soon as possible.