There are two types of anxiety. There’s common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re coping with an emergency situation. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t really attached to any one event or concern. They feel the anxiety frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized sensation that seems to pervade the day. This second type is generally the kind of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Both forms of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be particularly damaging if you have prolonged or chronic anxiety. When it’s anxious, your body secretes all kinds of chemicals that heighten your alert status. It’s good in the short term, but damaging over a long period of time. Over the long run, anxiety that can’t be managed or controlled will start to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety typically include:
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and increased heart rate
- Physical weakness
- Feeling like something terrible is about to happen
- Bodily pain
- Feeling agitated or irritated
- Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
But persistent anxiety doesn’t necessarily manifest in the ways that you might anticipate. In fact, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety could actually wind up impacting things as seemingly vague as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been connected with:
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of chronic anxiety. After all, the ears are typically in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: You probably know 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 develop over time. This is called tinnitus (which, itself can have numerous other causes too). For some, this could even reveal itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are certain ways that anxiety impacts your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. 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 your body. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Since this is a hearing website, we typically tend to focus on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a bit about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.
The isolation is the primary concern. When a person suffers from hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance issues, they often pull away from social contact. You might have experienced this with your own family members. Maybe a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. The same goes for balance problems. It can be hard to admit to your friends and family 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 for other reasons. Typically, you’re not going to be around anyone if you’re not feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. That feeling of solitude can set in quickly and it can lead to a host of other, closely associated issues, like decline of cognitive function. It can be even more difficult to fight the effects of isolation if you’re dealing with 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 finding the correct treatment is so key.
All of the symptoms for these conditions can be helped by obtaining treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Interacting with others has been shown to help alleviate both anxiety and depression. Chronic anxiety is more serious when there is an overwhelming sense of solitude and treating the symptoms can help with that. Consult with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to look at your choices for treatment. Hearing aids might be the best option as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. And for anxiety, medication and other types of therapy may be required. Tinnitus has also been shown to be successfully treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
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.
We also realize that hearing loss can result in isolation and cognitive decline. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Fortunately, a positive difference can be achieved by getting the right treatment for both conditions. The health impacts of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body does not have to last. The sooner you find treatment, the better.