There are two kinds of anxiety. When you are coping with a crisis, that feeling that you have is called common anxiety. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t necessarily linked to any one worry or situation. Regardless of what’s going on around them or what they’re thinking about, they frequently feel anxiety. It’s more of a generalized feeling that seems to be there all day. This sort of anxiety is normally more of a mental health concern than a neurological reaction.
Both types of anxiety can be very detrimental to the physical body. Prolonged periods of persistent anxiety can be especially 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 a long period of time. Over time, anxiety that can’t be managed or controlled will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.
Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms
Symptoms of anxiety commonly include:
- General pain or soreness in your body
- Melancholy and loss of interest in day to day activities
- A feeling of being agitated or aggravated
- Feeling like something dreadful is about to occur
- Panic attacks, shortness of breath and increased heart rate
But persistent anxiety doesn’t necessarily manifest in the ways that you would anticipate. Anxiety can even effect obscure body functions such as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been connected with:
- Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get worse, but did you know that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to progress over time. This is called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by a lot of other factors). In some circumstances, the ears can feel clogged or blocked (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
- High Blood Pressure: And a few of the effects of anxiety are not at all surprising. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have extremely adverse effects on the body. It’s definitely not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be brought about by high blood pressure.
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is often a symptom of persistent anxiety. Keep in mind, the sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
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 forgive us if we take a little time to talk about how anxiety and hearing loss can influence each other in some slightly disconcerting ways.
The isolation is the primary issue. People tend to pull away from social activities when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. You may have seen this in your own family members. Perhaps a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed that they have to constantly repeat what they said. Problems with balance present similar troubles. It can be hard to admit to your friends and family that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you have balance troubles.
There are also other ways anxiety and depression can result in social isolation. When you don’t feel yourself, you won’t want to be with others. Unfortunately, this can be something of a circle where one feeds into the other. That sense of isolation can develop quickly and it can lead to a variety of other, closely associated problems, including decline of cognitive function. For somebody who suffers from anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that move toward isolation can be even more difficult.
Determining How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why finding the best treatment is so crucial.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re struggling with, finding proper treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. And as far as depression and anxiety, connecting with others who can relate can be extremely helpful. Certainly, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that could make chronic anxiety more extreme. Check with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to explore your possibilities for treatment. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may be hearing aids. The most appropriate treatment for anxiety may involve therapy or medication. 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 serious consequences for your physical health and your mental health.
We also know that hearing loss can lead to isolation and mental decline. Together with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Fortunately, a positive difference can be achieved by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. Anxiety doesn’t need to have long lasting effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be counteracted. The key is getting treatment as soon as you can.