Many of us are currently under big amounts of stress and anxiety. This can be linked to a variety of health problems, which can even trigger hearing loss and other inner ear problems. We want to share some insight on what can assist with stress and hearing loss.
Can stress affect hearing?
Yes. When you are constantly stressed and anxious, your body doesn’t receive a clear signal to return to normal like it does when the stress is acute or traumatic. This can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and other illnesses. In turn, these diseases affect your hearing. Stress and hearing loss are closely related.
Stress, hypertension and hearing loss
Just about anything that restricts your circulation such as heart disease, diabetes or smoking is going to negatively impact your hearing. That’s primarily because the small sensory hairs of the inner ear depend on good circulation to perform their delicate task of translating the noise your outer ears collect into electrical impulses for the brain to interpret as recognisable sound.
Each of these inner ear sensors are responsible for translating specific frequencies, so when they are damaged or die, the ability to send that message is affected, too. Therefore, hearing loss that occurs as a result of damage to these sensory hair cells is known as sensorineural hearing loss.
Is stress and tinnitus related?
Stress can trigger tinnitus or make it harder to ignore via your normal adjustment techniques. Therefore, it is very important to manage your stress when it comes to tinnitus and even hearing loss.
Poor circulation can also cause pulsatile tinnitus, a condition sufferers commonly describe as a rhythmic ear noise that pulsates, beats or pumps in time with the heartbeat. Underlying causes of pulsatile tinnitus include high blood pressure, which stress can aggravate. This kind of tinnitus should receive prompt medical attention.
For some people, stress and anxiety can also make their ears feel full or stuffy. Part of this can be due to yawning a lot because of a lack of sleep. The excessive yawning shifts around the pressure in the ears, making them feel full.
How to cope with stress and inner ear problems
Although sensorineural hearing loss isn’t reversible in most cases, reducing the amount of stress in your life can protect your hearing from loss due to poor circulation.
Here are five tips for reducing stress:
- Take breaks. Even 20 minutes away from the cause of your stress can give you perspective and make you feel less overwhelmed.
- Exercise. Just 30 minutes each day provides health benefits for both your body and mind.
- Smile and laugh. Moving those facial muscles in particular eases tension and sends a corresponding happy signal to the brain.
- Get social support. Talk to someone who can understand what you’re going through and provide positive feedback.
- Meditate. Like exercise, meditation for hearing loss helps the mind and body relax and focus.
If these methods aren’t helping, we recommend that you seek mental health care to help you relieve your stress, which can affect your hearing.
Strauss Audiology can help
If you’re not hearing as well as you used to, make an appointment to see us at Strauss Audiology. One of the very first things we will do is get to know your personal hearing health and medical history, along with any concerns you may have. After your hearing health history is complete, we will administer a non-invasive hearing evaluation to determine whether or not you have hearing loss. Based on your history and the results of your hearing evaluation, we will create a customised treatment plan based on your budget, lifestyle and hearing expectations.
About Strauss Audiology
Strauss Audiology is a professional audiology business in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, offering expert, effective hearing advice that is tailored to clients’ unique hearing needs. We conduct hearing evaluations, hearing tests and vertigo assessments, and provide a range of solutions to improve and protect clients’ hearing. This includes providing hearing aids to Cape Town clients. With 13 years of experience, and with the qualifications and certifications to deliver leading hearing care, you can trust us to take care of your hearing needs.
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