There are two kinds of anxiety. When you are dealing with an emergency situation, that feeling that you have is called common anxiety. Some people experience anxiety even when there are no specific events or worries to link it to. They feel the anxiety frequently, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized sensation that seems to pervade the day. This second kind is usually the type of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Regrettably, both types of anxiety are harmful for the human body. Prolonged periods of chronic anxiety can be especially negative. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are produced when anxiety is experienced. For short durations, when you genuinely need them, these chemicals are a good thing but they can be harmful if they are present over longer periods of time. Certain physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be managed and remains for longer periods of time.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety commonly include:
- A racing heart or shortness of breath commonly linked to panic attacks
- A feeling of being agitated or irritated
- General aches or discomfort in your body
- Fear about approaching disaster
- Melancholy and loss of interest in day to day activities
But in some cases, anxiety is experienced in surprising ways. Anxiety can even impact vague body functions like your hearing. For example, anxiety has been linked to:
- High Blood Pressure: And some 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 many negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s definitely not good. 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 chronic anxiety. Remember, your sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get worse, but did you know that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by numerous other factors). In certain circumstances, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Typically on a hearing blog such as this we would usually focus on, well, hearing. And your ability to hear. So let’s talk a bit about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.
To start with, there’s the solitude. People often withdraw from social experiences when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. You might have experienced this with your own family members. Perhaps your mother or father got tired of asking you to repeat yourself, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. The same holds true for balance issues. It could impact your ability to walk or drive, which can be embarrassing to admit to friends and family.
There are also other ways anxiety and depression can lead to social isolation. Normally, you’re not going to be around anyone if you aren’t feeling like yourself. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a loop where one feeds into the other. That feeling of isolation can develop quickly and it can lead to a host of other, closely related problems, like cognitive decline. For somebody who deals with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Getting The Appropriate Treatment
Finding the proper treatment is important particularly given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.
All of the symptoms for these conditions can be assisted by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And in terms of depression and anxiety, interacting with others who can relate can be very helpful. 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 choices for treatment. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may involve hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy might be required. Tinnitus has also been found to be effectively treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious repercussions on your physical health and your mental health.
We also realize that hearing loss can bring about isolation and cognitive decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty challenging situation. Thankfully, we have treatments for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a big, positive effect. Anxiety doesn’t need 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.