Hearing Health Blog

Woman with anxiety also experiencing ringing in the ears.

There are two types of anxiety. You can have common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re dealing with a crisis. Some individuals experience anxiety even when there aren’t any specific events or worries to link it to. Regardless of what’s going on around them or what they’re thinking about, they frequently feel anxiety. It’s more of a general sensation that seems to pervade the day. This type of anxiety is normally more of a mental health concern than a neurological reaction.

Both types of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be particularly damaging if you experience sustained or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are released during times of anxiety. For short durations, when you genuinely require them, these chemicals are a positive thing but they can be harmful if they are produced over longer periods of time. Over the long run, anxiety that can’t be managed or brought under control will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.

Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms

Some symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Feeling agitated or irritated
  • Nausea
  • Loss of interest and depression
  • A pounding heart or shortness of breath commonly linked to panic attacks
  • Fatigue
  • A feeling that something dreadful is about to occur
  • Overall aches or discomfort in your body

But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. Indeed, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up affecting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been linked to:

  • Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can cause the ringing in your ears to get worse, but did you realize that there’s evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to develop over time. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by a lot of other factors). For a few, this might even manifest itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
  • Dizziness: Prolonged anxiety can occasionally cause dizziness, which is an issue that could also stem from the ears. Remember, your sense of balance is controlled by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears that are controlling the sense of balance).
  • High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety affects your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure often has extremely adverse effects on the body. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.

Anxiety And Hearing Loss

Typically on a hearing blog like this we would usually concentrate on, well, hearing. And your how well to hear. With that in mind, you’ll excuse us if we take a little time to talk about how hearing loss and anxiety can feed each other in some fairly disturbing ways.

The isolation is the first and foremost issue. People often withdraw from social experiences when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. You might have seen this in your own family. Maybe a relative just stopped talking as much because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat themselves. Issues with balance come with similar difficulties. 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.

Social isolation is also connected to anxiety and depression for other reasons. When you don’t feel yourself, you don’t want to be with other people. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. The negative impact of isolation can occur rapidly and will bring about various other problems and can even result in mental decline. It can be even more challenging to fight the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.

Choosing The Correct Treatment

Tinnitus, hearing loss, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why finding the right treatment is so key.

If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, getting correct treatment for them can also assist with your other symptoms. And when it comes to 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 could make persistent anxiety more severe. In order to determine what treatments will be most effective for your situation, check with your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids could be the best option as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. And for anxiety, medication and other kinds of therapy might be required. Tinnitus has also been shown to be successfully treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Here’s to Your Health

We recognize that your mental and physical health can be severely affected by anxiety.

We also realize that hearing loss can result in isolation and cognitive decline. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be accomplished by getting the right treatment for both conditions. Anxiety doesn’t have to have long lasting effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The key is finding treatment as soon as possible.

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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.
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