Anxiety comes in two forms. When you are dealing with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is called common anxiety. Some individuals feel anxiety even when there are no particular events or worries to link it to. They feel anxious frequently, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s just present in the background throughout the day. This second type is typically the type of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health issue.
Both kinds of anxiety can be very detrimental to the physical body. Extended periods of persistent anxiety can be particularly negative. When it’s anxious, your body secretes a myriad of chemicals that raise your alert status. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over extended periods of time. Specific physical symptoms will start to appear if anxiety can’t be treated and lasts for longer periods of time.
Bodily Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- A feeling that something horrible is about to happen
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and raised heart rate
- Loss of interest and depression
- Feeling agitated or irritated
- Physical weakness
- General pain or soreness in your body
But sometimes, anxiety manifests in surprising ways. Anxiety can even impact obscure body functions such as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been linked to:
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be caused by the ears, is often a symptom of persistent anxiety. After all, the ears are generally in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are certain ways that anxiety impacts your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure often has very negative effects on the body. It’s certainly not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only worsens 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 many other causes as well). In certain circumstances, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Since this is a hearing website, we usually tend to focus on, well, the ears. And your how well to hear. So let’s talk a bit about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
The solitude is the first and foremost issue. People often withdraw from social activities when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. Perhaps you’ve seen this with someone you know. Perhaps a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. The same is true for balance issues. 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 troubles.
There are also other reasons why depression and anxiety can result in social isolation. Usually, you’re not going to be around people if you’re not feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. That sense of isolation can set in quickly and it can result in a host of other, closely associated problems, including cognitive decline. For somebody who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that move toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Discovering The Correct Treatment
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed each other. That’s why getting the best treatment is so key.
If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re dealing with, finding proper treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. And in terms of depression and anxiety, connecting with others who can relate can be really helpful. Chronic anxiety is more serious when there is a strong sense of isolation and treating the symptoms can help with that. So that you can determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids could be the best option as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. The best treatment for anxiety may include medication or therapy. Tinnitus has also been shown to be successfully treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Here’s to Your Health
We know, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe repercussions on your physical health in addition to your mental health.
We also realize that hearing loss can lead to isolation and mental decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, you can have a very challenging situation. Thankfully, we have treatments for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a huge, positive difference. Anxiety doesn’t need to have long lasting effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The key is getting treatment as soon as you can.