Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

“Woman

Anxiety comes in two forms. You can have common anxiety, that feeling you get when you’re dealing with a crisis. And then you can have the type of anxiety that isn’t necessarily connected to any one worry or event. Regardless of what’s happening in their lives or what’s on their mind, they regularly feel anxiety. It’s just there in the background all through the day. This type of anxiety is normally more of a mental health issue than a neurological response.

Both types of anxiety can be very damaging to the physical body. It can be particularly damaging if you experience prolonged or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are released when anxiety is experienced. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over a long period of time. Over the long run, anxiety that can’t be dealt with or brought under control will start to manifest in distinct physical symptoms.

Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms

Some symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Loss of interest and depression
  • Physical weakness
  • Feeling as if you are coming out of your skin
  • A feeling that something horrible is about to occur
  • Overall aches or soreness in your body
  • Queasiness
  • A thumping heart or difficulty breathing often linked to panic attacks

But chronic anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you might anticipate. Anxiety can even impact vague body functions such as your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been connected with:

  • High Blood Pressure: And a few of the consequences of anxiety are not at all surprising. In this case, we’re talking about elevated blood pressure. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have very negative effects on the body. It is, to use a colloquialism, bad news. High blood pressure has also been recognized to lead to hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
  • Tinnitus: You probably know 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 known as tinnitus (which, itself can have a variety of other causes too). For a few, this may even manifest itself as a feeling that the ears are blocked or clogged.
  • Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is commonly a symptom of persistent anxiety. After all, the ears are typically responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).

Anxiety And Hearing Loss

Generally on a hearing blog like this we would tend to focus on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. With that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how anxiety and hearing loss can feed each other in some fairly disturbing ways.

First of all, there’s the solitude. People tend to pull away from social experiences when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. You may have experienced this with your own relatives. Perhaps your mother or father got tired of asking you to repeat yourself, or didn’t want to be embarrassed by not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. Issues with balance come with similar troubles. 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 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 become an unhealthy loop. That feeling of solitude can develop quickly and it can result in a variety of other, closely related issues, including decline of cognitive function. For somebody who struggles with anxiety and hearing loss, fighting against that move toward isolation can be even more challenging.

Getting The Proper Treatment

Getting the proper treatment is significant particularly given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed on each other.

All of the symptoms for these conditions can be assisted by obtaining treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Connecting with others has been shown to help reduce both anxiety and depression. Prolonged anxiety is more severe when there is a strong sense of separation and treating the symptoms can be helpful with that. Seek advice from your general practitioner and hearing specialist to explore your possibilities for treatment. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus could be hearing aids. The right treatment for anxiety might involve medication or therapy. Tinnitus has also been shown to be effectively treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Here’s to Your Health

We recognize, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences on your physical health and your mental health.

Isolation and cognitive decline have also been recognized as a consequence of hearing loss. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty challenging situation. Fortunately, a positive difference can be accomplished by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. The health impacts of anxiety don’t have to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body does not have to last. The sooner you find treatment, the better.

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