There are two forms of anxiety. When you are involved with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is called common anxiety. Some people experience anxiety even when there aren’t any particular events or worries to link it to. Regardless of what’s going on around them or what they’re thinking about, they frequently feel anxiety. It’s just present in the background throughout the day. This type of anxiety is usually more of a mental health problem than a neurological response.
Unfortunately, both types of anxiety are harmful for the human 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 released when anxiety is experienced. For short periods, when you really require them, these chemicals are good but they can be harmful if they are present over longer time periods. Specific physical symptoms will start to manifest if anxiety can’t be treated and persists for longer periods of time.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling like something terrible is about to occur
- Bodily discomfort
- Loss of interest and depression
- A racing heart or shortness of breath typically associated with panic attacks
- Feeling agitated or irritated
But persistent anxiety doesn’t necessarily appear in the ways that you would anticipate. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up affecting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been connected with:
- Tinnitus: Are you aware that stress not only worsens the ringing in your ears but that it can also be responsible for the onset of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which, itself can have numerous other causes as well). In some situations, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
- Dizziness: Persistent anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is a condition that could also be related to the ears. Remember, your sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are regulating the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are certain ways that anxiety impacts your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have many negative secondary effects on you physically. It is, to use a colloquialism, not so great. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to concentrate on, well, the ears. And how well you 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 fairly disconcerting ways.
First off, there’s the isolation. When somebody suffers from tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance problems, they tend to withdraw from social contact. You may have experienced this with your own relatives. Maybe a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat what they said. Problems with balance present similar troubles. It can be difficult to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance troubles.
There are also other ways depression and anxiety can lead to social isolation. When you do not feel like yourself, you won’t want to be around other people. Unfortunately, this can be something of a loop where one feeds into the other. The negative effects of isolation can occur rapidly and will trigger various other issues and can even result in cognitive decline. For someone who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that shift toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Finding The Proper Treatment
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why getting the proper treatment is so key.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, obtaining proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Connecting with other people has been demonstrated to help alleviate both anxiety and depression. Prolonged anxiety is more serious when there is an overwhelming sense of solitude and dealing with the symptoms can help with that. In order to figure out what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus might be hearing aids. The most appropriate treatment for anxiety may involve therapy or medication. Tinnitus has also been shown to be successfully treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We know, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious repercussions on your physical health and your mental health.
We also realize that hearing loss can bring about isolation and mental decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty challenging situation. Fortunately, a positive difference can be accomplished by getting the right 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 counteracted. The sooner you get treatment, the better.