There are two forms of anxiety. When you are dealing with a crisis, that feeling that you get is called common anxiety. Some individuals feel anxiety even when there are no specific events or worries to attach it to. They feel the anxiety regularly, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized feeling that seems to pervade the day. This type of anxiety is normally more of a mental health concern than a neurological response.
Unfortunately, both kinds of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be especially harmful if you have extended or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are secreted when anxiety is experienced. It’s a good thing in the short term, but damaging over a long period of time. Over the long run, anxiety that can’t be treated or brought under control will start to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling like something dreadful is about to happen
- A pounding heart or shortness of breath commonly connected to panic attacks
- Depression and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- Overall aches or soreness in your body
- Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
But chronic anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you would anticipate. Anxiety can even impact obscure body functions including your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been linked to:
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be caused by the ears, is commonly a symptom of chronic anxiety. After all, the ears are typically responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And a few of the consequences of anxiety are not at all surprising. 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 your body. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been known to lead to hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus: Are you aware that stress not only worsens the ringing in your ears but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by many other factors). In certain circumstances, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Typically on a hearing blog like this we would tend to focus on, well, hearing. And your ability 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 each other in some relatively disconcerting ways.
The solitude is the first and foremost issue. When somebody has hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance problems, they often distance themselves from social contact. You might have experienced this with your own family members. Perhaps one of your parents got tired of asking you to repeat yourself, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not understanding and so they withdrew from conversations. The same is true for balance problems. It may impact your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to friends and family.
There are also other reasons why depression and anxiety can result in social isolation. Usually, you aren’t 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. That feeling of solitude can develop quickly and it can result in a number of other, closely associated issues, including cognitive decline. For somebody who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Figuring Out How to Correctly Treat Your Hearing Loss Issues
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why getting the proper treatment is so key.
All of the symptoms for these ailments can be helped by obtaining treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Connecting with others has been shown to help alleviate both depression and anxiety. At the very least, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that could make chronic anxiety more severe. Check with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your options for treatment. Hearing aids might be the best option as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. And for anxiety, medication and other kinds of therapy may be required. Tinnitus has also been shown to be successfully treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences for your physical health in addition to your mental health.
We also realize that hearing loss can lead to isolation and cognitive decline. Together with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Luckily, treatments exist for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a huge, positive effect. Anxiety doesn’t have to have long lasting effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The sooner you get treatment, the better.