There are two forms of anxiety. There’s common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re coping with a crisis. Some people experience anxiety even when there are no distinct situations or concerns to connect it to. They feel anxious regularly, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s more of a general feeling that seems to be there all day. This second type is usually the kind of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Both kinds of anxiety can be very detrimental to the physical body. Extended periods of chronic anxiety can be particularly negative. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are secreted when anxiety is experienced. It’s good 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 persists for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Symptoms of anxiety typically consist of:
- Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
- Feeling like something terrible is about to occur
- A pounding heart or shortness of breath commonly linked to panic attacks
- Melancholy and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- Bodily pain
But persistent anxiety doesn’t necessarily appear in the ways that you might anticipate. Anxiety can even impact obscure body functions including your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been linked to:
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are some ways that anxiety affects your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have an array of negative secondary effects on your body. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Dizziness: Persistent anxiety can occasionally cause dizziness, which is a condition that may also stem from the ears. Keep in mind, your 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).
- Tinnitus: Are you aware that stress not only worsens tinnitus but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is called tinnitus (which, itself can have a variety of other causes as well). For a few, this may even manifest itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Since this is a hearing website, we typically tend to give attention to, well, the ears. And how well you hear. With that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how hearing loss and anxiety can influence one another in some fairly disturbing ways.
First of all, there’s the solitude. People tend to withdraw from social experiences when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. Maybe you’ve seen this with somebody you know. Perhaps a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. Issues with balance come with similar troubles. It can be difficult to admit to your family and friends that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you have balance problems.
Social isolation is also connected to anxiety and depression in other ways. When you don’t feel yourself, you won’t want to be around other people. Unfortunately, this can be something of a circle where one feeds into the other. The negative effects of isolation can occur quickly and will lead to numerous other problems and can even result in cognitive decline. It can be even harder to fight the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Finding The Appropriate Treatment
Getting the proper treatment is important particularly given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed each other.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, getting correct treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. Connecting with others has been shown to help alleviate both depression and anxiety. At the very least, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make prolonged anxiety more severe. Consult your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your options for treatment. Depending on the results of your hearing test, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may be hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy could be necessary. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been demonstrated to help manage tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be seriously impacted by anxiety.
We also realize that hearing loss can bring about isolation and mental decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a very challenging situation. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be accomplished by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. 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.