There are two kinds of anxiety. When you are involved with a crisis, that feeling that you have is referred to as common anxiety. Some individuals experience anxiety even when there aren’t any distinct events or worries to connect it to. No matter what’s going on around them or what’s on their mind, they frequently feel anxiety. It’s just there in the background throughout the day. This type of anxiety is usually more of a mental health issue than a neurological response.
Both forms of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. Long periods of persistent anxiety can be especially bad. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are produced when anxiety is experienced. It’s good in the short term, but harmful over extended periods of time. Over the long run, anxiety that cannot be treated or brought under control will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Loss of interest and depression
- Bodily pain
- Feeling like you are coming out of your skin
- Paranoia about impending crisis
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and increased heart rate
But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in surprising ways. Anxiety can even impact vague body functions like your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been associated with:
- Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can occasionally cause dizziness, 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 in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety impacts your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have 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.
- 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 called tinnitus (which, itself can have a variety of other causes as well). For a few, this may even reveal itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Since this is a hearing website, we typically tend to focus on, well, the ears. And your how well to hear. With 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 slightly disconcerting ways.
The isolation is the primary issue. People often pull away from social experiences when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. You may have experienced this with your own relatives. Maybe one of your parents got tired of asking you to repeat yourself, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they withdrew from conversations. The same holds true for balance issues. It can be difficult to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you have balance troubles.
Social isolation is also linked to anxiety and depression for other reasons. Normally, you aren’t going to be around anyone if you’re not feeling like yourself. Unfortunately, this can be something of a circle where one feeds the other. That feeling of isolation can develop 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’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety.
Figuring Out How to Properly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Finding the correct treatment is important especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re dealing with, getting proper treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. And as far as depression and anxiety, interacting with others who can relate can be very helpful. Certainly, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make persistent anxiety more extreme. In order to determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, talk to your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids might be the best option as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. And for anxiety, medication and other kinds of therapy could be necessary. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been demonstrated to help control tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We understand, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe repercussions for your physical health in addition to your mental health.
We also realize that hearing loss can result in isolation and cognitive decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, you can have a pretty challenging situation. Thankfully, we have treatments for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a big, positive difference. The health impacts of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t need to be long lasting. The key is finding treatment as soon as you can.