Anxiety comes in two forms. When you are dealing with an emergency situation, that feeling that you have is known as common anxiety. Some people feel anxiety even when there are no specific situations or concerns to attach it to. They feel the anxiety regularly, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized feeling that seems to be there all day. This type of anxiety is normally more of a mental health problem than a neurological response.
Both kinds of anxiety can be very detrimental to the physical body. It can be especially harmful if you experience sustained or chronic anxiety. When it’s anxious, your body secretes all sorts of chemicals that raise your alert status. For short periods, when you really need them, these chemicals are a positive thing but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer time periods. Specific physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be managed and persists for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling like you’re coming out of your skin
- Overall pain or discomfort in your body
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and raised heart rate
- A feeling that something horrible is about to occur
- Melancholy and loss of interest in activities or daily life
But chronic anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you may predict. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety could actually wind up affecting things as apparently vague as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been associated with:
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety influences your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure often has very negative effects on the body. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, bad news. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be brought about by high blood pressure.
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can occasionally make you feel dizzy, which is a condition that may also stem from the ears. After all, the ears are generally in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you realize that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is known as tinnitus (which, itself can have any number of other causes too). In certain situations, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to give attention to, well, hearing. And how well you hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we take a little time to talk about how anxiety and hearing loss can feed one another in some relatively disconcerting ways.
First off, there’s the solitude. People tend to withdraw from social activities when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. Perhaps you’ve experienced this with somebody you know. Maybe one of your parents got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. The same goes for balance problems. It might affect your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to family and friends.
There are also other reasons why anxiety and depression can lead to 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 impact of isolation can occur rapidly and will bring about numerous other problems and can even result in mental decline. For somebody who deals with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that move toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Determining How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why finding the right treatment is so crucial.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re dealing with, obtaining proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Connecting with other people has been demonstrated to help relieve both depression and anxiety. Prolonged anxiety is more severe when there is a strong sense of isolation and dealing with the symptoms can be helpful with that. Check with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to explore your options for treatment. Depending on the results of your hearing test, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus might be hearing aids. The right treatment for anxiety may include therapy or medication. Tinnitus has also been found to be effectively treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We know, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious repercussions for your physical health and your mental health.
We also realize that hearing loss can lead to isolation and mental decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, you can have a pretty challenging situation. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be accomplished by getting the right treatment for both conditions. The health affects of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t need to last. The key is getting treatment as soon as you can.