Anxiety comes in two varieties. There’s common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re coping with an emergency situation. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t really linked to any one event or concern. No matter what’s happening around them or what’s on their mind, they regularly feel anxiety. It’s just present in the background all through the day. This type of anxiety is normally more of a mental health concern than a neurological response.
Regrettably, both forms of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. Long periods of persistent anxiety can be particularly bad. When it’s anxious, your body secretes a myriad of chemicals that raise your alert status. It’s good in the short term, but damaging over a long period of time. Over time, anxiety that can’t be managed or controlled will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Symptoms of anxiety often include:
- Feeling as if you are coming out of your skin
- Overall aches or soreness in your body
- A feeling that something horrible is about to occur
- Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and increased heart rate
But chronic anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you would predict. In fact, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety could actually end up affecting things as seemingly vague as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been linked to:
- Dizziness: Persistent anxiety can sometimes make you feel dizzy, which is a condition that may also stem from the ears. After all, the ears are typically responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only exacerbates 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 a variety of other causes too). In certain situations, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are some ways that anxiety influences your body in exactly 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’s certainly not good. High blood pressure has also been known to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Since this is a hearing website, we usually tend to give attention to, well, the ears. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a bit about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.
The solitude is the primary concern. People often pull away from social activities when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. Perhaps you’ve seen this with someone you know. Perhaps a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat themselves. The same is true for balance issues. It can be hard 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 reasons why depression and anxiety can lead to social isolation. Normally, you’re not going to be around anyone if you’re not feeling like yourself. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a loop where one feeds the other. That sense of isolation can set in quickly and it can result in a host of other, closely associated problems, including cognitive decline. It can be even more challenging to overcome the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Getting The Proper Treatment
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why finding the right treatment is so crucial.
All of the symptoms for these disorders can be helped by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And when it comes to anxiety and depression, interacting with others who can relate can be extremely helpful. Certainly, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that could make prolonged anxiety more severe. Talk to your general practitioner and hearing specialist to explore your possibilities for treatment. Depending on the results of your hearing test, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may involve hearing aids. The most appropriate treatment for anxiety might include therapy or medication. Tinnitus has also been found to be effectively treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious repercussions for your physical health and your mental health.
We also know that hearing loss can bring about isolation and mental decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty challenging situation. Luckily, we have treatments for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a big, positive effect. Anxiety doesn’t have to have permanent effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The key is finding treatment as soon as possible.