Anxiety And Your Hearing

Woman with anxiety also experiencing ringing in the ears.

Anxiety comes in two kinds. There’s common anxiety, that sensation you get when you’re coping with a crisis. And then there’s the type of anxiety that isn’t actually connected to any one worry or situation. No matter what’s happening around them or what’s on their mind, they often feel anxiety. It’s more of a generalized feeling that seems to be there all day. This second form is generally the kind of anxiety that’s less of a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health problem.

Regrettably, both forms of anxiety are pretty terrible for the human body. It can be particularly damaging if you feel sustained or chronic anxiety. Your alert status is heightened by all of the chemicals that are secreted when anxiety is experienced. It’s a good thing in the short term, but harmful over extended periods of time. Certain physical symptoms will begin to appear if anxiety can’t be managed and persists for longer periods of time.

Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms

Symptoms of anxiety typically consist of:

  • Tiredness
  • Queasiness
  • Melancholy and loss of interest in day to day activities
  • A feeling that something horrible is about to occur
  • Bodily discomfort
  • A thumping heart or difficulty breathing typically linked to panic attacks
  • Feeling agitated or aggravated

But sometimes, anxiety is experienced in unexpected ways. In fact, there are some fairly interesting ways that anxiety might actually wind up affecting things as seemingly vague as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been linked to:

  • Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be related to the ears, is commonly a symptom of chronic anxiety. Remember, the sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes in your inner ears which are regulating the sense of balance).
  • Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you realize that there is 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 a lot of other factors). In certain situations, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
  • High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety affects your body in exactly the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have very adverse effects on the body. It is, to use a colloquialism, not so great. Dizziness, hearing loss and tinnitus can also be caused by high blood pressure.

Anxiety And Hearing Loss

Because this is a hearing website, we typically tend to give attention to, well, hearing. And how well you hear. So let’s talk a little about how your hearing is impacted by anxiety.

The solitude is the primary concern. When someone suffers from tinnitus, hearing loss or even balance problems, they tend to pull away from social interactions. You might have experienced this with your own relatives. Perhaps your mother or father got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. The same holds true for balance problems. It might affect your ability to drive or even walk, which can be embarrassing to admit to friends and family.

Social isolation is also associated with anxiety and depression in other ways. 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 sense of solitude can develop quickly and it can lead to a variety of other, closely associated problems, like cognitive decline. It can be even harder to combat the effects of isolation if you’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety.

Choosing The Proper Treatment

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

All of the symptoms for these conditions can be assisted by getting treatment for your tinnitus and hearing loss. Connecting with other people has been demonstrated to help reduce both anxiety and depression. At the very least, treating these symptoms can help with the sense of isolation that could make chronic anxiety more severe. In order to figure out what treatments will be most effective for your situation, consult your doctor and your hearing specialist. Hearing aids could be the best solution as part of your treatment depending on what your hearing test reveals. The most appropriate treatment for anxiety may include therapy or medication. Tinnitus has also been found to be effectively treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Here’s to Your Health

We recognize that your mental and physical health can be severely affected by anxiety.

Isolation and cognitive decline have also been shown as a repercussion of hearing loss. When you add anxiety to the recipe, it makes for a pretty difficult situation. Fortunately, a favorable difference can be achieved by getting the right 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 key is finding treatment as soon as possible.

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.