Anxiety And Your Hearing

Woman with anxiety also experiencing ringing in the ears.

Anxiety comes in two kinds. You can have common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re involved with a crisis. And then you can have the kind of anxiety that isn’t actually linked to any one event or concern. They feel anxious frequently, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized feeling that seems to pervade the day. This second kind is typically the type of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.

Unfortunately, both forms of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be particularly harmful if you feel extended or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are secreted during times of anxiety. For short periods, when you really require them, these chemicals are a good thing but they can be damaging if they are present over longer time periods. Specific physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be managed and persists for longer periods of time.

Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms

Some symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Physical weakness
  • A feeling that something horrible is about to happen
  • Nausea
  • A racing heart or difficulty breathing typically associated with panic attacks
  • General aches or discomfort in your body
  • Depression and loss of interest in activities or daily life
  • Feeling as if you are coming out of your skin

But persistent anxiety doesn’t always appear in the ways that you might predict. Anxiety can even effect obscure body functions like your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been linked to:

  • Dizziness: Persistent anxiety can sometimes make you feel dizzy, which is an issue that may also be related to the ears. After all, the ears are typically responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
  • Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only exacerbates tinnitus but that it can cause the development of that ringing. This is known as tinnitus (which can itself be caused by several other factors). In certain circumstances, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
  • High Blood Pressure: And some 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 often has extremely negative effects on the body. It’s definitely not good. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.

Hearing Loss And Anxiety

Because this is a hearing website, we usually tend to give attention to, well, the ears. And your ability to hear. With that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how hearing loss and anxiety can influence one another in some slightly disconcerting ways.

The solitude is the primary issue. People often withdraw from social activities when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. Perhaps you’ve experienced this with someone you know. Maybe a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat themselves. Issues with balance come with similar troubles. It can be tough to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance troubles.

There are also other reasons why depression and anxiety can lead to social isolation. Usually, you aren’t going to be around anyone if you aren’t feeling like yourself. Unfortunately, this can be somewhat of a loop where one feeds into the other. The negative impact of isolation can occur rapidly and will bring about various other issues and can even result in mental decline. It can be even harder to fight the effects of isolation if you’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety.

Choosing The Appropriate Treatment

Getting the correct treatment is significant especially given how much anxiety, hearing loss, tinnitus and isolation feed each other.

All of the symptoms for these ailments can be helped by obtaining treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. And when it comes to anxiety and depression, connecting with others who can relate can be very helpful. Chronic anxiety is more severe when there is an overwhelming sense of solitude and managing the symptoms can help with that. Check with your general practitioner and hearing specialist to explore your choices for treatment. Depending on what your hearing test shows, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus might be hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other kinds of therapy could be required. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been proven to help control tinnitus.

Here’s to Your Health

We know, then, that anxiety can have very real, very serious consequences for your physical health in addition to your mental health.

We also know that hearing loss can result in isolation and cognitive decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty difficult situation. Thankfully, treatments exist for both conditions, and getting that treatment can make a huge, positive difference. The health affects of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. What anxiety does to your body doesn’t have to last. The sooner you get treatment, the better.

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.