Anxiety And Your Hearing

Woman with anxiety also experiencing ringing in the ears.

Anxiety comes in two varieties. When you are coping with a crisis, that feeling that you get is known as common anxiety. Some individuals feel anxiety even when there are no distinct situations or concerns to attach it to. They feel the anxiety regularly, regardless of what you’re doing or thinking about. It’s more of a general sensation that seems to pervade the day. This second type is usually the kind of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health issue.

Unfortunately, both kinds of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. Extended periods of chronic anxiety can be particularly negative. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are produced during times of anxiety. For short durations, when you genuinely require them, these chemicals are a good thing but they can be harmful if they are present over longer periods of time. Specific physical symptoms will begin to appear if anxiety can’t be treated and persists for longer periods of time.

Anxiety Has Distinct Bodily Symptoms

Symptoms of anxiety typically include:

  • Loss of interest and depression
  • Panic attacks, shortness of breath and raised heart rate
  • Fear about impending disaster
  • Feeling as if you’re coming out of your skin
  • Queasiness
  • Bodily pain
  • Tiredness

But persistent anxiety doesn’t necessarily manifest in the ways that you may predict. Anxiety can even impact obscure body functions like your hearing. As an example, anxiety has been associated with:

  • Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be caused by the ears, is often a symptom of persistent anxiety. Keep in mind, your sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears which are controlling the sense of balance).
  • Tinnitus: You probably understand that stress can make the ringing your ears 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 called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by many other factors). In some circumstances, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s staggering what anxiety can do).
  • High Blood Pressure: And a few of the consequences of anxiety are not at all surprising. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have an array of negative secondary effects on your body. It is, to use a colloquialism, bad news. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.

Hearing Loss And Anxiety

Typically on a hearing blog such as this we would normally concentrate on, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a little about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.

To start with, there’s the solitude. People often pull away from social experiences when they suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus or balance issues. Maybe you’ve experienced this with someone you know. Maybe one of your parents got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not comprehending and so they stopped talking so much. The same goes for balance issues. It may affect your ability to drive or even walk, which can be embarrassing to admit to family and friends.

There are also other reasons why anxiety and depression can lead to social isolation. When you do not feel like yourself, you won’t want to be around others. 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 trigger numerous other issues and can even result in mental decline. For someone who struggles with anxiety and hearing loss, battling against that move toward isolation can be even more challenging.

Choosing The Right Treatment

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

All of the symptoms for these disorders can be assisted by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Interacting with other people has been shown to help alleviate both depression and anxiety. Certainly, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that could make prolonged anxiety more extreme. So that you can figure out what treatments are best for you, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Depending on the results of your hearing test, the right treatment for hearing loss or tinnitus might be hearing aids. And for anxiety, medication and other forms of therapy may be required. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been demonstrated to help deal with tinnitus.

Here’s to Your Health

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

We also know that hearing loss can lead to isolation and cognitive decline. Together 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. The health impacts of anxiety don’t need to be permanent. The effect of anxiety on your body doesn’t have to last. 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.