Anxiety And Your Hearing

Woman with anxiety also experiencing ringing in the ears.

There are two types of anxiety. When you are dealing with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is referred to as common anxiety. Some individuals feel anxiety even when there aren’t any specific situations or concerns to connect it to. No matter what’s happening in their lives or what they’re thinking about, they frequently feel anxiety. It’s just present in the background throughout the day. This second form is usually the kind of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health issue.

Both types of anxiety can be very unfavorable to the physical body. It can be especially harmful if you experience prolonged or chronic anxiety. When it feels anxiety, your body secretes all kinds of chemicals that heighten your alert status. For short durations, when you genuinely require them, these chemicals are a positive thing but they can be damaging if they are present over longer time periods. Certain physical symptoms will begin to manifest if anxiety can’t be managed and remains for longer periods of time.

Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms

Symptoms of anxiety frequently consist of:

  • Physical weakness
  • Panic attacks, shortness of breath and raised heart rate
  • Feeling like you are coming out of your skin
  • Paranoia about impending crisis
  • Bodily pain
  • Melancholy and loss of interest in day to day activities
  • Nausea

But persistent anxiety doesn’t always manifest in the ways that you may predict. In fact, there are some pretty interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up impacting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been linked to:

  • Tinnitus: Did you realize that stress not only worsens the ringing in your ears but that it can also be responsible for the onset of that ringing. This is called tinnitus (which, itself can have many other causes as well). In certain circumstances, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
  • Dizziness: Chronic anxiety can occasionally make you feel dizzy, which is an issue that may also stem from the ears. After all, the ears are generally responsible for your sense of balance (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
  • High Blood Pressure: And some of the effects of anxiety are not at all unexpected. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have many negative secondary effects on you physically. It is, to make use of a colloquialism, bad news. High blood pressure has also been recognized to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.

Anxiety And Hearing Loss

Because this is a hearing website, we usually tend to give attention to, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a bit about how anxiety impacts your hearing.

First and foremost, there’s the solitude. People often pull away from social experiences when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. You might have experienced this with your own family members. Perhaps a relative just withdrew from conversations because they were embarrassed by having to constantly repeat what they said. The same is true for balance issues. 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 do not feel yourself, you won’t want to be with others. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can become an unhealthy loop. The negative impact of isolation can happen quickly and will bring about several other problems and can even result in mental decline. It can be even more difficult to fight the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.

Finding The Appropriate Treatment

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

If tinnitus and hearing loss are symptoms you’re struggling with, obtaining proper treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Interacting with other people has been shown to help alleviate both depression and anxiety. Certainly, managing these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make persistent anxiety more extreme. In order to figure out what treatments are best for you, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids might be the best solution as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. And for anxiety, medication and other types of therapy might be required. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help deal with tinnitus.

Here’s to Your Health

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

We also know that hearing loss can lead to isolation and mental decline. When you add anxiety to the recipe, you can have a very challenging situation. Fortunately, a positive difference can be accomplished by getting the correct treatment for both conditions. Anxiety doesn’t need to have permanent effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The sooner you find 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.