Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

“Woman

There are two types of anxiety. When you are coping with a crisis, that feeling that you have is referred to as common anxiety. Some people experience anxiety even when there are no particular situations or concerns to attach it to. They feel the anxiety regularly, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s just there in the background throughout the day. This type of anxiety is normally more of a mental health issue than a neurological response.

Regrettably, both types of anxiety are harmful for the human body. Long periods of chronic anxiety can be especially bad. Your alert status is raised by all of the chemicals that are secreted during times of anxiety. It’s a good thing in the short term, but damaging over extended periods of time. Over the long run, anxiety that cannot be managed or brought under control will begin to manifest in certain physical symptoms.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Symptoms of anxiety often include:

  • Physical weakness
  • Fear about approaching crisis
  • A thumping heart or difficulty breathing often connected to panic attacks
  • Queasiness
  • Feeling like you’re coming out of your skin
  • Depression and loss of interest in activities or daily life
  • Bodily discomfort

But persistent anxiety doesn’t always manifest in the ways that you would predict. In fact, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety might actually end up impacting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been connected with:

  • Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can make the ringing your ears 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 many other factors). For a few, this may even reveal itself as a feeling of blockage or clogging of the ears.
  • High Blood Pressure: And then there are certain ways that anxiety impacts your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have various negative secondary effects on your body. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
  • Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be caused by the ears, is commonly a symptom of persistent anxiety. Remember, your sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).

Hearing Loss And Anxiety

Typically on a hearing blog like this we would usually focus on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a bit about how anxiety impacts your hearing.

The solitude is the primary concern. When a person has hearing loss, tinnitus or even balance problems, they tend to withdraw 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 deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they withdrew from conversations. The same is true for balance problems. It can be hard to admit to your family and friends that you have a hard time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance problems.

There are also other reasons why anxiety and depression can lead to social isolation. When you don’t feel yourself, you don’t want to be around others. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a loop where one feeds into the other. That feeling of solitude can set in quickly and it can result in a variety of other, closely related issues, such as cognitive decline. It can be even more challenging to overcome the effects of isolation if you’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety.

Choosing The Right Treatment

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

If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re struggling with, obtaining proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. And in terms of anxiety and depression, connecting with others who can relate can be very helpful. Chronic anxiety is more severe when there is a strong sense of solitude and treating the symptoms can help with that. Talk to your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your possibilities for treatment. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the best treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus may involve hearing aids. The right treatment for anxiety may involve therapy or medication. Tinnitus has also been shown to be effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Here’s to Your Health

We understand that your mental and physical health can be seriously affected by anxiety.

We also know that hearing loss can bring about isolation and cognitive decline. In conjunction with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a difficult time. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be achieved by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. The health affects of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body does not have to last. The key is getting treatment as soon as you can.

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