Anxiety is a common mental health condition that affects millions of Americans. It can manifest in various forms, ranging from general anxiety to specific phobias, and can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms.
One of the lesser-known symptoms of anxiety is hearing loss. In this blog, we will explore the link between anxiety and hearing loss, and what you can do to manage both conditions.
Anxiety and Hearing Loss – What’s the Link?
Hearing loss can occur in two forms: conductive and sensorineural. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from reaching the inner ear, while sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve. Anxiety is known to cause symptoms of both types of hearing loss, although the exact mechanism is not yet understood.
Studies have shown that anxiety can cause tinnitus, a condition where you experience ringing or buzzing in your ears. Tinnitus is often a symptom of sensorineural hearing loss, and can be particularly distressing for people with anxiety. The constant noise can exacerbate their anxiety symptoms and make it difficult for them to relax or focus.
Anxiety can also lead to hyperacusis, a condition where normal sounds are perceived as being too loud. This can be extremely distressing for people with anxiety, as they may avoid social situations or loud environments, further worsening their anxiety symptoms.
In addition to these conditions, anxiety can also cause physical changes in the body that affect hearing. For example, when we are anxious, our body releases stress hormones that can cause constriction of blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the inner ear. This can result in temporary hearing loss and make it difficult to understand speech.
Anxiety and Hearing Loss – What Can You Do?
So, what can you do to manage anxiety and hearing loss? The first step is to determine the underlying cause of your hearing loss. Your local hearing healthcare specialist would be able to help.
If your hearing loss is exacerbated by anxiety, your hearing healthcare specialist may recommend you visit your primary healthcare physician. For some, a visit to the hearing center could be enough to spark anxiety. You may feel vulnerable going to a new place or going to a medical setting. You may worry about the costs and implications of the visit, what will happen afterward?
But the evidence is clear, treating a hearing loss may help to reduce anxious feelings. It can take the fear out of many social or daily situations. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, please mention it during your appointment. It will help us to better look after your hearing needs.
Contact Us Today!
If you’d like to discuss further, come in and meet the team at REM Audiology. Call us today on (888) 710-5734. Alternatively, click here to contact us online.