Your Hearing And Anxiety

Woman with anxiety also experiencing ringing in the ears.

Anxiety comes in two varieties. When you are coping with a crisis, that feeling that you get is known as common anxiety. And then you can have the type of anxiety that isn’t necessarily connected to any one event or concern. Regardless of what’s happening around them or what they’re thinking about, they regularly feel anxiety. It’s more of a general feeling that seems to be there all day. This second form is generally the type of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health issue.

Both types of anxiety can be very detrimental 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 secreted when anxiety is experienced. For short durations, when you really need them, these chemicals are a good thing but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer periods of time. Over time, anxiety that can’t be dealt with or brought under control will begin to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.

Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms

Symptoms of anxiety commonly include:

  • Queasiness
  • Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
  • Panic attacks, shortness of breath and increased heart rate
  • General aches or soreness in your body
  • A feeling of being agitated or irritated
  • Exhaustion
  • Paranoia about approaching disaster

But chronic anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you may anticipate. Indeed, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety could actually wind up impacting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been associated with:

  • Tinnitus: Are you aware that stress not only exacerbates tinnitus but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which, itself can have any number of other causes as well). For a few, this might even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
  • High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety affects your body in exactly 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 very negative effects on the body. It’s certainly not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be brought about by high blood pressure.
  • Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can occasionally make you feel dizzy, which is a condition that may also stem from the ears. After all, the ears are generally in control of your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).

Hearing Loss And Anxiety

Since this is a hearing website, we typically tend to give attention to, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a little about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.

First and foremost, there’s the solitude. When someone suffers from hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance issues, they often distance themselves from social interactions. You might have experienced this with your own relatives. Maybe a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat themselves. The same holds true for balance issues. It can be difficult to admit to your family and friends that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you have balance troubles.

There are also other ways depression and anxiety can lead to social isolation. 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 happen rapidly and will result in several other issues and can even result in mental decline. For somebody who deals with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that shift toward isolation can be even more difficult.

Finding The Appropriate Treatment

Finding the correct treatment is important particularly given how much hearing loss, tinnitus, anxiety and isolation feed on each other.

All of the symptoms for these conditions can be assisted by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Interacting with others has been shown to help relieve both anxiety and depression. Certainly, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that might make persistent anxiety more extreme. So that you can figure out what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids might be the best solution 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 know, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences on your physical health in addition to your mental health.

Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a consequence of hearing loss. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be achieved by getting the right treatment for both conditions. The health affects of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t have to last. The key is getting treatment as soon as possible.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.