Anxiety comes in two varieties. When you are dealing with a crisis, that feeling that you have is known as common anxiety. Some people experience anxiety even when there aren’t any distinct situations or concerns to connect it to. 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 second kind is generally the kind of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Both types of anxiety can be very unfavorable to the physical body. Extended periods of chronic anxiety can be particularly negative. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are released when anxiety is experienced. For short durations, when you really require them, these chemicals are a positive thing but they can be harmful if they are present over longer time periods. Over time, anxiety that cannot be treated or brought under control will begin to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- A feeling of being agitated or irritated
- Paranoia about approaching crisis
- A pounding heart or shortness of breath commonly associated with panic attacks
- Bodily discomfort
- Loss of interest and depression
But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in surprising ways. Anxiety can even effect obscure body functions like your hearing. For example, anxiety has been connected with:
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get worse, but did you know that there is evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to progress over time. This is called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by a lot of other factors). In some situations, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
- High Blood Pressure: And a few of the effects of anxiety are not at all unexpected. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure often has really negative effects on the body. It is, to use a colloquialism, not so great. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is a condition that could also be related to the ears. 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).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to focus on, well, the ears. And how well you hear. With that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how hearing loss and anxiety can influence each other in some slightly disturbing ways.
The isolation is the primary issue. When somebody has hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance issues, they tend to distance themselves from social contact. You may have seen this in your own family members. Perhaps your mother or father got tired of asking you to repeat yourself, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. The same is true for balance problems. It might influence your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to family and friends.
There are also other ways anxiety and depression can result in social isolation. Typically, you’re not going to be around people if you’re not feeling like yourself. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a loop where one feeds the other. That feeling of solitude can develop quickly and it can result in a number of other, closely associated problems, like decline of cognitive function. It can be even more challenging to combat the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Determining How to Correctly Treat Your Hearing Loss Troubles
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why getting the best treatment is so important.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re struggling with, finding correct treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Interacting with others has been demonstrated to help alleviate both depression and anxiety. Certainly, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make persistent anxiety more extreme. In order to determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids might be the best option as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. And for anxiety, medication and other types of therapy might be required. Tinnitus has also been shown to be successfully treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand that your mental and physical health can be severely impacted by anxiety.
We also realize that hearing loss can bring about isolation and cognitive decline. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Fortunately, a positive difference can be achieved by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. Anxiety doesn’t need to have permanent effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The sooner you get treatment, the better.