Anxiety comes in two forms. When you are dealing with an emergency situation, that feeling that you have is known as common anxiety. Some individuals experience anxiety even when there aren’t any specific situations or concerns to link it to. They feel the anxiety regularly, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized feeling that seems to pervade the day. This kind of anxiety is usually more of a mental health concern than a neurological reaction.
Both forms of anxiety can be very detrimental to the physical body. It can be especially damaging if you have prolonged or chronic anxiety. When it’s anxious, your body secretes a myriad of chemicals that heighten your alert status. For short durations, when you really need them, these chemicals are a positive thing but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer periods of time. Over time, anxiety that can’t be treated or brought under control will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Symptoms of anxiety frequently consist of:
- Depression and loss of interest in activities or daily life
- A pounding heart or shortness of breath commonly linked to panic attacks
- Feeling like something dreadful is about to happen
- Bodily discomfort
- Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. Anxiety can even effect obscure body functions such as your hearing. For example, anxiety has been associated with:
- 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 medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have many negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s definitely not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be triggered by high blood pressure.
- Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only exacerbates the ringing in your ears but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by a lot of other factors). For a few, this could even reveal itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
- Dizziness: Persistent anxiety can sometimes cause dizziness, which is a condition that may also be related to the ears. Remember, your sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Since this is a hearing website, we usually tend to give attention to, well, hearing. And how well you 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 slightly disturbing ways.
The isolation is the first and foremost issue. When somebody has tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance issues, they tend to pull away from social contact. Maybe you’ve seen this with somebody you know. Perhaps one of your parents got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not understanding and so they withdrew from conversations. The same goes for balance issues. It may impact your ability to drive or even walk, which can be humiliating to admit to family and friends.
Social isolation is also connected to depression and anxiety for other reasons. Normally, you aren’t going to be around anyone if you’re not feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. The negative impact of isolation can occur quickly and will result in several other problems and can even result in cognitive decline. For somebody who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more challenging.
Choosing The Correct Treatment
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why finding the proper treatment is so important.
All of the symptoms for these conditions can be assisted by obtaining treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And when it comes to anxiety and depression, interacting with others who can relate can be extremely helpful. Prolonged anxiety is more severe when there is a strong sense of separation and dealing with the symptoms can be helpful with that. Seek advice from your general practitioner and hearing specialist to explore your choices for treatment. Hearing aids may be the best option as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy could be necessary. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help control tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe repercussions for your physical health in addition to your mental health.
Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a repercussion of hearing loss. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Luckily, we have treatments for both conditions, and obtaining that treatment can make a huge, positive effect. The health impacts of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body doesn’t have to be long lasting. The sooner you get treatment, the better.