Anxiety comes in two varieties. When you are involved with a crisis, that feeling that you get is known as common anxiety. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t actually connected to any one worry or event. They feel the anxiety frequently, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s just there in the background throughout the day. This second type is typically the type of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health issue.
Unfortunately, both kinds of anxiety are harmful for the human body. Prolonged periods of chronic anxiety can be especially negative. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are released when anxiety is experienced. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over a long period of time. Over time, anxiety that cannot be dealt with or controlled will start to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling like you are coming out of your skin
- A feeling that something terrible is about to occur
- Physical weakness
- Bodily discomfort
- Loss of interest and depression
- A racing heart or difficulty breathing typically connected to panic attacks
But sometimes, anxiety manifests in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety could actually wind up impacting things as apparently vague as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been linked to:
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get worse, but did you realize that there is evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is called tinnitus (which, itself can have any number of other causes as well). In some situations, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety influences 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 really negative effects on the body. It’s certainly not good. High blood pressure has also been known to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of prolonged anxiety. After all, the ears are generally responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Since this is a hearing website, we usually 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 slightly disturbing ways.
The isolation is the primary concern. When someone suffers from tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance problems, they often withdraw from social interactions. Perhaps you’ve seen this with someone you know. Perhaps a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat what they said. The same goes for balance problems. It could affect your ability to walk or drive, which can be humiliating to admit to family and friends.
Social isolation is also associated with anxiety and depression for other reasons. When you do not feel like yourself, you don’t want to be with other people. 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 result in a number of other, closely related problems, including cognitive decline. For someone who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that shift toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Discovering The Proper Treatment
Getting the proper treatment is important particularly given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed each other.
All of the symptoms for these ailments can be assisted by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Interacting with others has been demonstrated to help alleviate both depression and anxiety. Prolonged anxiety is more severe when there is an overwhelming sense of solitude and treating the symptoms can help with that. Check with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to look at your choices for treatment. Hearing aids could be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. The best treatment for anxiety may involve medication or therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help deal with tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences on your physical health and your mental health.
We also know that hearing loss can bring about isolation and mental decline. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Fortunately, a positive 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 reversed. The key is getting treatment as soon as you can.