There are two types of anxiety. You can have common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re dealing with a crisis. And then you can have the kind of anxiety that isn’t really linked to any one worry or situation. No matter what’s happening in their lives or what’s on their mind, they often feel anxiety. It’s just present in the background all through the day. This second kind is usually the kind of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Both types of anxiety can be very unfavorable to the physical body. It can be especially damaging if you have sustained or chronic anxiety. When it feels anxiety, your body releases all kinds of chemicals that raise your alert status. 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 begin to appear if anxiety can’t be treated and remains for longer periods of time.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety often include:
- A feeling of being agitated or aggravated
- A racing heart or shortness of breath often linked to panic attacks
- Feeling like something terrible is about to occur
- Loss of interest and depression
- General aches or discomfort in your body
But in some cases, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up impacting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been linked to:
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are certain ways that anxiety influences your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have various negative secondary effects on your body. It is, to use a colloquialism, not so great. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only worsens tinnitus but that it can also be responsible for the onset of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by numerous other factors). For some, this may even reveal itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
- Dizziness: Persistent anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is a condition that may also be related to the ears. Do not forget, the sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Generally on a hearing blog like this we would tend to focus on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how hearing loss and anxiety can feed one another in some relatively disturbing ways.
The isolation is the primary concern. People tend to withdraw from social activities when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. Maybe you’ve seen this with somebody you know. Maybe your mother or father got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not comprehending and so they withdrew from conversations. Issues with balance present similar troubles. It can be tough to admit to your friends and family that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance troubles.
Social isolation is also linked to anxiety and depression in other ways. When you do not feel like yourself, you don’t want to be around other people. Unfortunately, this can be something of a loop where one feeds the other. The negative effects of isolation can occur quickly and will result in several other problems and can even result in mental decline. It can be even harder to fight the effects of isolation if you’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety.
Choosing The Correct Treatment
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why finding the best treatment is so important.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, getting proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. And as far as depression and anxiety, connecting with others who can relate can be really helpful. Chronic anxiety is more serious when there is an overwhelming sense of separation and managing the symptoms can help with that. In order to decide what treatments are best for you, talk to your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids might be the best option as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. The right treatment for anxiety might include medication or therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been proven to help control tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be severely impacted by anxiety.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been recognized as a repercussion of hearing loss. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. 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 key is getting treatment as soon as you can.