Anxiety comes in two forms. You can have common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re involved with an emergency situation. Some individuals feel anxiety even when there are no specific events or worries to connect it to. They feel the anxiety regularly, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s just there in the background throughout the day. This kind of anxiety is usually more of a mental health issue than a neurological reaction.
Both kinds of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be especially damaging if you have sustained or chronic anxiety. When it feels anxiety, your body produces all sorts of chemicals that heighten your alert status. It’s good in the short term, but damaging over a long period of time. Over the long run, anxiety that cannot be dealt with or controlled will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Bodily discomfort
- Feeling agitated or aggravated
- Loss of interest and depression
- A racing heart or shortness of breath typically linked to panic attacks
- A feeling that something terrible is about to happen
But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in surprising ways. Anxiety can even effect vague body functions such as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been connected with:
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only worsens tinnitus but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which, itself can have a variety of other causes as well). In some situations, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (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. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure often has extremely 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: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of prolonged anxiety. After all, the ears are generally in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Since this is a hearing website, we usually tend to focus on, well, hearing. And your ability to hear. So let’s talk a little about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
First of all, there’s the isolation. When someone has hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance issues, they tend to pull away from social contact. You might have experienced this with your own family. Maybe a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat themselves. The same goes for balance issues. It can be hard to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance troubles.
Social isolation is also connected to depression and anxiety for other reasons. Typically, you’re not going to be around anyone if you aren’t feeling like yourself. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a circle where one feeds the other. The negative effects of isolation can occur quickly and will lead to various other problems and can even result in cognitive decline. For someone who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that move toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Choosing The Appropriate Treatment
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why finding the correct treatment is so crucial.
All of the symptoms for these conditions can be helped by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Connecting with others has been demonstrated to help reduce both depression and anxiety. Certainly, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make chronic anxiety more extreme. Talk to your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your possibilities for treatment. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus could involve hearing aids. The most appropriate treatment for anxiety may include medication or therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been demonstrated to help manage tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize that your mental and physical health can be seriously affected by anxiety.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a repercussion of hearing loss. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Luckily, treatments exist for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a huge, positive difference. The health affects of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body does not have to be long lasting. The key is finding treatment as soon as you can.