Anxiety comes in two forms. When you are involved with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is known as common anxiety. Some people feel anxiety even when there are no specific events or worries to link it to. They feel anxious regularly, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s just there in the background throughout the day. This type of anxiety is normally more of a mental health concern than a neurological response.
Both types of anxiety can be very detrimental to the physical body. Prolonged periods of persistent anxiety can be especially bad. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are produced during times of anxiety. For short periods, when you genuinely need them, these chemicals are good but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer time periods. Certain physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be managed and lasts for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Fear about impending crisis
- Feeling as if you are coming out of your skin
- A thumping heart or shortness of breath commonly linked to panic attacks
- Bodily pain
- Melancholy and loss of interest in activities or daily life
But chronic anxiety doesn’t necessarily appear in the ways that you might anticipate. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety could actually end up affecting things as seemingly vague as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been linked to:
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you know that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to progress over time. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by a lot of other factors). In some circumstances, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of prolonged anxiety. After all, the ears are typically responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And some of the consequences of anxiety are not at all unexpected. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have all kinds of negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s certainly not good. High blood pressure has also been known to cause hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Typically on a hearing blog like this we would tend to focus on, well, hearing. And your how well to 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 feed one another in some fairly disconcerting ways.
The isolation is the first and foremost issue. People tend to pull away from social experiences when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. 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 themselves. Issues with balance come with similar difficulties. It can be difficult to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance problems.
Social isolation is also associated with anxiety and depression in other ways. When you do not feel yourself, you don’t want to be with others. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. The negative impact of isolation can occur rapidly and will bring about various other problems and can even result in mental decline. It can be even more challenging to fight the effects of isolation if you’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety.
Determining How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why finding the right treatment is so key.
All of the symptoms for these ailments can be helped by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And when it comes to anxiety and depression, interacting with others who can relate can be really helpful. At the very least, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that could make chronic anxiety more severe. Check with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to look at your options for treatment. Hearing aids may be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy might be necessary. Tinnitus has also been shown to be successfully treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences for your physical health and your mental health.
We also realize that hearing loss can bring about isolation and mental decline. Together with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be accomplished by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. The health affects of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body doesn’t have to be long lasting. The key is finding treatment as soon as you can.