There’s a lot of stress to go around these days, so it’s normal for everyone to be feeling the pressure. But what effect does chronic stress have on the body? We know stress, anxiety, and depression can have detrimental consequences on our physical health if we’re not careful.
But what if enough stress could cause sensory problems? What if stress could lead to hearing loss?
You may not think stress really affects you now, depending on your age, but one day we’re all going to get older and feel the repercussions of our lifestyles. To answer the question – yes, stress can cause hearing loss.
According to Hearing Consultants, “When your body responds to stress, the overproduction of adrenaline reduces blood flow to the ears, affecting hearing. The fragile hair cells in the inner ear rely on a constant flow of blood to receive the right amount of oxygen and other nutrients. When daily stress builds up day after day it can disturb blood circulation throughout the body and without a constant blood flow, the hair cells can become damaged sometimes permanently. This can lead to immediate hearing loss if you become so stressed that blood flow to the ears is stopped completely.” (Teague, 2019).
The dangerous thing is we understand how anxiety makes us feel and how it can disrupt the joy we might have in life, but the notion that our hearing can be affected doesn’t cross our minds. And believe it or not, hearing loss can lead to further anxiety and depression, especially if not properly diagnosed and treated.
To take it a step further, hypertension (high-blood pressure) is also dangerous for our hearing. Hearing Consultants goes on to say, “Hypertension is high blood pressure that often accompanies stress, and has severe hearing repercussions. When your blood pressure is high, your blood vessels are damaged. This damage isn’t centered in one area of the body – your entire body is affected, including your ears.”
Solutions to stress
To prevent further stress, there are a few things you can do. To protect our hearing shouldn’t be the only reason we want to relax. Stress isn’t good for our physical and mental health. Taking care of those stressors now will prevent issues down the road. Here are a few things you can do to bring down the stress and anxiety levels.
- Breathing exercises
- Take on a hobby
- Treat yourself to activities you enjoy
Outside of taking care of stress, the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute can do a free screening to analyze your hearing. From there, treatment options will be discussed. Just take a look at our Hearing Center to learn more.
To schedule a same-day or Saturday appointment, call 770-740-1860 or fill out the form at the top of the page.
Teague, T., Dr. (2019, May 20th) A Link Between Stress and Hearing Loss [Medical Blog] Retrieved on June 9th, 2020 from https://hearingconsultants.com/a-link-between-stress-and-hearing-loss/#:~:text=Stress%20can%20Cause%20Hearing%20Loss,of%20oxygen%20and%20other%20nutrients.