Anxiety comes in two varieties. When you are involved with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is known as common anxiety. Some people experience anxiety even when there aren’t any specific situations or concerns to link it to. They feel anxious regularly, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s more of a general feeling that seems to be there all day. This type of anxiety is usually more of a mental health concern than a neurological response.
Unfortunately, both forms of anxiety are harmful for the human body. Extended periods of persistent anxiety can be particularly negative. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are produced when anxiety is experienced. For short durations, when you really need them, these chemicals are a positive thing but they can be damaging if they are produced over longer time periods. Over the long run, anxiety that cannot be treated or controlled will begin to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
- Overall aches or soreness in your body
- Physical weakness
- A thumping heart or shortness of breath commonly associated with panic attacks
- A feeling that something horrible is about to happen
- Depression and loss of interest in activities or daily life
But persistent anxiety doesn’t necessarily manifest in the ways that you would anticipate. Indeed, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety might actually end up impacting things as apparently vague as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been connected with:
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety impacts 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 many negative secondary effects on your body. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, bad news. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be triggered by high blood pressure.
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get worse, but did you realize that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by many other factors). In certain situations, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of prolonged anxiety. Do not forget, the sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Generally on a hearing blog like this we would usually focus on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a little about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.
To start with, there’s the isolation. When somebody has tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance issues, they often withdraw from social interactions. You may have seen this in your own relatives. Perhaps a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. Problems with balance present similar troubles. It might impact your ability to walk or drive, which can be embarrassing to admit to friends and family.
Social isolation is also linked to anxiety and depression in other ways. Normally, you’re not going to be around anyone if you’re not feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. The negative effects of isolation can happen rapidly and will lead to various other problems and can even result in cognitive decline. It can be even harder to overcome the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Finding The Proper Treatment
Finding the correct treatment is significant particularly given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed each other.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re dealing with, obtaining proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. And when it comes to anxiety and depression, interacting with others who can relate can be very helpful. Certainly, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make prolonged anxiety more extreme. Consult your general practitioner and hearing specialist to look at your possibilities for treatment. Hearing aids might be the best option as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. The best treatment for anxiety might involve medication or therapy. 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 in addition to your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been recognized as a consequence of hearing loss. 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 long lasting effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be counteracted. The key is getting treatment as soon as you can.