There are two forms of anxiety. There’s common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re dealing with an emergency situation. And then there’s the kind of anxiety that isn’t really connected to any one event or concern. Regardless of what’s happening around them or what’s on their mind, they regularly feel anxiety. It’s just there in the background all through the day. This type of anxiety is usually more of a mental health problem than a neurological reaction.
Both types of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be particularly damaging if you experience sustained or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are released when anxiety is experienced. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over a long period of time. Over time, anxiety that can’t be treated or brought under control will start to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling like you are coming out of your skin
- A racing heart or shortness of breath typically associated with panic attacks
- A feeling that something dreadful is about to occur
- Bodily discomfort
- Loss of interest and depression
But in some cases, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. Anxiety can even impact obscure body functions like your hearing. For example, anxiety has been linked to:
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety affects 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 often has extremely adverse effects on the body. It is, to use a colloquialism, not so great. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be triggered by high blood pressure.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be caused by the ears, is often 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 regulating the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you realize that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to progress over time. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by numerous other factors). In certain circumstances, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Generally on a hearing blog such as this we would tend to concentrate on, well, hearing. And your ability to hear. Keeping that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how hearing loss and anxiety can influence one another in some fairly disconcerting ways.
The solitude is the first and foremost issue. People tend to pull away from social activities when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. Perhaps you’ve seen this with somebody you know. Perhaps your mother or father got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not comprehending and so they withdrew from conversations. Issues with balance come with similar difficulties. It can be difficult to admit to your friends and family that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you have balance troubles.
Social isolation is also connected to anxiety and depression in other ways. When you do not feel yourself, you don’t want to be around other people. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a loop where one feeds into the other. The negative effects of isolation can occur rapidly and will result in several other problems and can even result in mental decline. For somebody who struggles with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Getting The Correct Treatment
Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why getting the best treatment is so key.
All of the symptoms for these conditions can be helped by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Interacting with others has been demonstrated to help relieve both depression and anxiety. Prolonged anxiety is more severe when there is a strong sense of separation and dealing with the symptoms can be helpful with that. Check with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to explore your possibilities for treatment. Hearing aids may be the best option as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. And for anxiety, medication and other types of therapy could be necessary. Tinnitus has also been shown to be successfully treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We know, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe repercussions on your physical health and your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a consequence of hearing loss. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Thankfully, treatments exist for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a big, positive difference. Anxiety doesn’t need to have permanent effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The sooner you get treatment, the better.