Anxiety comes in two forms. When you are coping with a crisis, that feeling that you get is called common anxiety. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t actually attached 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 sensation that seems to be there all 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 forms of anxiety can be very unfavorable to the physical body. It can be particularly damaging if you feel prolonged or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are produced during times of anxiety. For short periods, when you really need them, these chemicals are good but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer time periods. Specific physical symptoms will start to manifest if anxiety can’t be treated and lasts for longer periods of time.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Bodily discomfort
- Feeling agitated or aggravated
- A pounding heart or shortness of breath typically connected to panic attacks
- A feeling that something dreadful is about to happen
- Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
But in some cases, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up affecting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been connected with:
- High Blood Pressure: And some 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 can have very negative effects on the body. It’s certainly not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can make the ringing your ears 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 known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by a lot of other factors). For some, this could even manifest itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is an issue that could also stem from the ears. After all, the ears are generally in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are regulating the sense of balance).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to give attention to, well, the ears. 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 feed one another in some slightly disconcerting ways.
The solitude is the first and foremost concern. When someone suffers from hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance issues, they tend to distance themselves from social contact. You may have seen this in your own relatives. Maybe a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat themselves. The same holds true for balance problems. It might impact your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to friends and family.
There are also other reasons why depression and anxiety can result in social isolation. When you do not feel yourself, you won’t want to be around other people. Unfortunately, this can be something of a circle where one feeds into the other. The negative effects of isolation can happen rapidly and will trigger numerous other issues and can even result in mental decline. For somebody who deals with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Determining How to Effectively Treat Your Hearing Loss Issues
Finding the proper treatment is significant especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed each other.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, obtaining correct treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. Connecting with others has been shown to help relieve both depression and anxiety. Prolonged anxiety is more severe when there is a strong sense of separation and treating the symptoms can be helpful with that. So that you can decide what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on the results of your hearing test, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus could be hearing aids. The right treatment for anxiety may include therapy or medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help deal with tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe consequences for your physical health and your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a consequence of hearing loss. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Luckily, treatments exist for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a big, positive effect. The health impacts of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body does not need to be long lasting. The sooner you get treatment, the better.