There are two kinds of anxiety. When you are coping with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is called common anxiety. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t really linked to any one worry or event. Regardless of what’s happening around them or what they’re thinking about, they often feel anxiety. It’s just present in the background throughout the day. This second type is generally the kind of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.
Both forms of anxiety can be very detrimental to the physical body. Long periods of persistent anxiety can be particularly bad. When it’s anxious, your body secretes all kinds of chemicals that raise your alert status. It’s a good thing in the short term, but damaging over extended periods of time. Specific physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be treated and lasts for longer periods of time.
Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Physical weakness
- Feeling agitated or aggravated
- General pain or soreness in your body
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and raised heart rate
- A feeling that something horrible is about to occur
- Loss of interest and depression
But persistent anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you may predict. In fact, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up impacting things as apparently vague as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been linked to:
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are certain 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 scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure often has really adverse effects on the body. It’s certainly not good. High blood pressure has also been known to lead to hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness.
- Dizziness: Chronic anxiety can occasionally cause dizziness, which is a condition that could also stem from the ears. After all, the ears are typically responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are regulating the sense of balance).
- Tinnitus: Are you aware that stress not only exacerbates the ringing in your ears but that it can also be responsible for the onset of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by a lot of other factors). For some, this may even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
Hearing Loss And Anxiety
Since this is a hearing website, we typically tend to give attention to, well, the ears. And your ability to hear. So let’s talk a bit about how anxiety impacts your hearing.
The solitude is the first and foremost issue. People tend to pull away from social experiences when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. You might have experienced this with your own family. Perhaps a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat themselves. Problems with balance present 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’re experiencing balance troubles.
Social isolation is also associated with anxiety and depression for other reasons. Usually, you aren’t going to be around anyone if you aren’t feeling like yourself. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. The negative effects of isolation can occur rapidly and will lead to numerous other issues and can even result in cognitive decline. For somebody who struggles with anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that move toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Getting The Proper Treatment
Finding the proper treatment is significant especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.
All of the symptoms for these ailments can be helped by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And in terms of depression and anxiety, connecting with others who can relate can be really helpful. Certainly, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make persistent anxiety more extreme. So that you can determine what treatments are best for you, check with your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus could be hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy could be necessary. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been proven to help deal with tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We know, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences 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, you can have a pretty difficult situation. Luckily, treatments exist 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 sooner you get treatment, the better.