Anxiety comes in two varieties. There’s common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re coping with a crisis. And then there’s the kind of anxiety that isn’t really attached to any one event or concern. They feel anxious regularly, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s just present in the background throughout the day. This second form is usually the type of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Regrettably, both forms of anxiety are harmful for the human body. Prolonged periods of chronic anxiety can be particularly bad. When it’s anxious, your body releases all kinds of chemicals that raise your alert status. 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 appear if anxiety can’t be treated and lasts for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling like something terrible is about to happen
- A feeling of being agitated or aggravated
- Melancholy and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- Overall pain or discomfort in your body
- A racing heart or difficulty breathing commonly associated with panic attacks
But in some cases, anxiety manifests in surprising ways. Anxiety can even effect vague body functions such as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been associated with:
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety affects 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 an array of negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s certainly not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can make the ringing your ears 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 many other causes as well). For a few, this may even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
- Dizziness: Chronic anxiety can occasionally make you feel dizzy, which is a condition that could also be related to the ears. Do not forget, the 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).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to focus on, well, hearing. And your how well to hear. With that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how anxiety and hearing loss can influence one another in some fairly disconcerting ways.
The isolation is the first and foremost concern. When a person suffers from hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance issues, they often withdraw 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. Problems with balance present similar difficulties. It can be difficult to admit to your family and friends that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance problems.
There are also other ways depression and anxiety can result in social isolation. When you do not feel like yourself, you don’t want to be with others. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a circle where one feeds into the other. That sense of solitude can set in quickly and it can result in a number of other, closely associated issues, including cognitive decline. For someone who deals with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Determining How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Troubles
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why finding the right treatment is so important.
All of the symptoms for these disorders can be helped by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And as far as anxiety and depression, interacting with others who can relate can be very helpful. At the very least, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make prolonged anxiety more severe. So that you can determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids may be the best option as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. The most appropriate treatment for anxiety might include medication or therapy. Tinnitus has also been found to be effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences on your physical health in addition to your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a repercussion of hearing loss. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Fortunately, a positive difference can be achieved by getting the right treatment for both conditions. The health impacts of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body does not need to be long lasting. The key is finding treatment as soon as possible.