Anxiety comes in two forms. There’s common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re coping with an emergency situation. And then there’s the kind of anxiety that isn’t necessarily connected to any one event or concern. They feel anxious frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s just present in the background all through the day. This sort of anxiety is usually more of a mental health issue than a neurological response.
Both kinds of anxiety can be very unfavorable to the physical body. It can be particularly damaging if you have sustained or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are secreted when anxiety is experienced. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over a long period of time. Over the long run, anxiety that cannot be dealt with or brought under control will start to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety commonly consist of:
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and raised heart rate
- Paranoia about approaching disaster
- Feeling like you’re coming out of your skin
- Loss of interest and depression
- Physical weakness
- General aches or soreness in your body
But persistent anxiety doesn’t always manifest in the ways that you would predict. Indeed, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety could actually wind up impacting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been associated with:
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is an issue that may also be related to the ears. Remember, your sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are controlling 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 can itself be caused by a lot of other factors). For a few, this might even manifest itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety affects your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have really adverse effects on the body. It’s certainly not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Since this is a hearing website, we usually tend to give attention to, well, hearing. And your ability to hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we take a little time to talk about how anxiety and hearing loss can influence each other in some slightly disturbing ways.
First and foremost, there’s the isolation. People tend to pull away from social experiences when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. Perhaps you’ve seen this with somebody you know. Perhaps your mother or father got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. Problems with balance come with similar difficulties. It could influence your ability to walk or drive, which can be embarrassing to admit to friends and family.
Social isolation is also connected to depression and anxiety in other ways. When you do not feel like yourself, you don’t want to be around others. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a circle where one feeds into the other. The negative impact of isolation can occur quickly and will trigger numerous other issues and can even result in mental decline. It can be even harder to combat the effects of isolation if you’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety.
Finding The Correct Treatment
Getting the proper treatment is significant especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed each other.
All of the symptoms for these conditions can be assisted by obtaining treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And in terms of depression and anxiety, interacting with others who can relate can be extremely helpful. Certainly, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make persistent anxiety more extreme. So that you can determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, talk to your doctor and raise it with us in your next visit. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may involve hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy could be required. 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 serious repercussions for your physical health in addition to your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been recognized as a consequence of hearing loss. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty challenging situation. Thankfully, treatments exist for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a big, positive effect. Anxiety doesn’t need 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 you can.