There are two forms of anxiety. There’s common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re coping with a crisis. Some people experience anxiety even when there are no distinct situations or concerns to attach it to. Regardless of what’s happening around them or what they’re thinking about, they frequently feel anxiety. It’s more of a general feeling that seems to be there all day. This second type is generally the kind of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health issue.
Regrettably, both forms of anxiety are harmful for the human body. It can be particularly harmful if you experience prolonged or chronic anxiety. When it feels anxiety, your body secretes all sorts of chemicals that raise your alert status. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over extended periods of time. Over the long run, anxiety that cannot be treated or controlled will begin to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety frequently consist of:
- Feeling like you are coming out of your skin
- Physical weakness
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and increased heart rate
- Loss of interest and depression
- Paranoia about impending disaster
- Overall pain or soreness in your body
But chronic anxiety doesn’t necessarily manifest in the ways that you may anticipate. Anxiety can even impact vague body functions such as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been connected with:
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of chronic anxiety. After all, the ears are generally responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you realize that there is 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 numerous other factors). For a few, this might even manifest itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
- High Blood Pressure: And a few of the consequences of anxiety are not at all unexpected. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have an array of negative secondary effects on you physically. It is, to use a colloquialism, not so great. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Generally on a hearing blog like this we would usually concentrate on, well, hearing. And your how well to hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how anxiety and hearing loss can feed one another in some slightly disconcerting ways.
The solitude is the primary concern. People tend to withdraw from social experiences when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. Perhaps you’ve experienced this with someone you know. Maybe one of your parents got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. The same is true for balance problems. It can be hard to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you have balance problems.
Social isolation is also associated with depression and anxiety in other ways. When you do not feel yourself, you won’t want to be around others. Sadly, one can end up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. That sense of isolation can develop quickly and it can lead to a number of other, closely related issues, including decline of cognitive function. For someone who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that move toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Finding The Proper Treatment
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why finding the right treatment is so key.
All of the symptoms for these disorders can be helped by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And in terms of anxiety and depression, connecting with others who can relate can be very helpful. Prolonged anxiety is more severe when there is a strong sense of solitude and treating the symptoms can be helpful with that. Consult your general practitioner and hearing specialist to look at your options for treatment. Hearing aids may be the best choice as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy might be required. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help deal with tinnitus.
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.
We also know that hearing loss can lead to isolation and mental decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, you can have a pretty challenging situation. Luckily, treatments exist for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a huge, positive difference. Anxiety doesn’t have to have permanent effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be counteracted. The sooner you find treatment, the better.