There are two kinds of anxiety. You can have common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re coping with an emergency situation. And then you can have the kind of anxiety that isn’t necessarily linked to any one event or concern. They feel anxious regularly, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s more of a general feeling that seems to be there all day. This sort of anxiety is normally more of a mental health problem than a neurological response.
Unfortunately, both types of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be particularly harmful if you experience prolonged or chronic anxiety. When it’s anxious, your body produces all sorts of chemicals that raise your alert status. For short periods, when you genuinely need them, these chemicals are good but they can be damaging if they are produced over longer periods of time. Over the long run, anxiety that can’t be dealt with or controlled will begin to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Paranoia about approaching crisis
- Bodily discomfort
- Loss of interest and depression
- A feeling of being agitated or aggravated
- Physical weakness
- A racing heart or shortness of breath commonly associated with panic attacks
But in some cases, anxiety manifests in unexpected ways. Anxiety can even impact vague body functions including your hearing. For example, anxiety has been connected with:
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is a condition that could also stem from the ears. After all, the ears are generally responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And some of the consequences of anxiety are not at all surprising. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have all kinds of negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s definitely not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be triggered by high blood pressure.
- Tinnitus: Are you aware that stress not only exacerbates tinnitus but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by a lot of other factors). In certain situations, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Generally on a hearing blog such as this we would normally focus on, well, hearing. And your ability to hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how anxiety and hearing loss can influence one another in some fairly disturbing ways.
The solitude is the first and foremost issue. People often pull away from social experiences when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. You may have experienced this with your own relatives. Maybe your mother or father got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not comprehending and so they stopped talking so much. Problems with balance present similar difficulties. It may impact your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to friends and family.
There are also other ways depression and anxiety can result in social isolation. When you do not feel like yourself, you don’t want to be around other people. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a circle where one feeds into the other. The negative effects of isolation can occur quickly and will trigger various other issues and can even result in mental decline. For someone who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that move toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Getting The Appropriate Treatment
Finding the proper treatment is significant especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, getting proper treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. Interacting with others has been demonstrated to help reduce both depression and anxiety. At the very least, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make chronic anxiety more severe. Check with your general practitioner and hearing professional to examine your options for treatment. Hearing aids may be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. The most appropriate treatment for anxiety may involve therapy or medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help manage tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We know, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences on your physical health in addition to your mental health.
We also know that hearing loss can bring about isolation and mental decline. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Fortunately, a favorable 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.