There are two forms of anxiety. When you are involved with a crisis, that feeling that you get is called common anxiety. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t necessarily connected to any one worry or situation. Regardless of what’s happening in their lives or what’s on their mind, they often feel anxiety. It’s just there in the background all through the day. This second type is usually the kind of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Both kinds of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be particularly harmful if you experience prolonged or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are produced during times of anxiety. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over a long period of time. Specific physical symptoms will start to appear if anxiety can’t be treated and persists for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling agitated or irritated
- Physical weakness
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and raised heart rate
- Feeling like something dreadful is about to happen
- Overall aches or soreness in your body
- Loss of interest and depression
But chronic anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you might anticipate. Indeed, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety could actually end up affecting things as apparently obscure as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been linked to:
- Tinnitus: Are you aware that stress not only worsens the ringing in your ears but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is called tinnitus (which, itself can have many other causes as well). For a few, this could even reveal itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can sometimes make you feel dizzy, which is a condition that may also stem from the ears. Keep in mind, your sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And a few of the consequences of anxiety are not at all unexpected. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have all kinds of negative secondary effects on your body. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, bad news. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Generally on a hearing blog such as this we would usually concentrate 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 anxiety and hearing loss can feed one another in some fairly disturbing ways.
First off, there’s the solitude. When somebody has hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance problems, they often withdraw from social interactions. You may have experienced this with your own family. Maybe a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. The same holds true for balance issues. It may influence your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to family and friends.
There are also other ways depression and anxiety can result in social isolation. When you don’t feel yourself, you won’t want to be with other people. Unfortunately, this can be something of a loop where one feeds the other. The negative effects of isolation can happen quickly and will bring about numerous other issues and can even result in mental decline. For somebody who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Figuring Out How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Finding the proper treatment is important especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re struggling with, finding proper treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. Connecting with others has been demonstrated to help reduce both depression and anxiety. Chronic anxiety is more severe when there is a strong sense of solitude and managing the symptoms can help with that. In order to decide what treatments will be most effective for your situation, talk to your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on the results of your hearing test, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may be hearing aids. The right treatment for anxiety might include medication or therapy. 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 severe repercussions for your physical health and your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been recognized as a consequence of hearing loss. Together with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Luckily, treatments exist for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a big, positive difference. The health affects of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t need to be long lasting. The key is getting treatment as soon as you can.