Can Anxiety and Depression Affect Hearing?
Mental health can have a major impact on your overall health. Stress, depression, and anxiety can all leave lasting impacts on more than just your mind, but your physical health as well. During periods of poor mental health, you might notice things like headaches, digestive issues, insomnia, and fatigue. You may even notice a negative impact on your hearing. How does mental stress affect your hearing?
Stress, depression, and anxiety can take up a lot of the energy and resources that your body uses for other processes, including your hearing. When you’re experiencing prolonged stress, it can interfere with your auditory processing system’s ability to receive and interpret signals. It can cause you to miss certain sounds altogether or misunderstand what you are hearing.
Depression and anxiety can also lead you to experience tinnitus or ringing in the ears. Tinnitus can be a very frustrating and distracting condition for many people. If you’re already someone who experiences tinnitus, stress can cause a relapse in your symptoms and keep you from executing your normal coping skills. Anxiety can be a cause of tinnitus or the feeling of excess pressure in your ears due to the increase in jaw tension and yawning that’s often associated with stress and anxiety.
Mental health and hearing loss are connected in a cycle. Not only can poor mental health cause your hearing loss, but hearing loss can lead to an increase in depression and anxiety. When you experience hearing loss, it can become increasingly difficult to connect with the world around you. You might find yourself struggling to hear conversations with your friends and family or missing out on important details in your favorite shows and movies. Eventually this can cause you to withdraw from social settings and it might cause you to feel isolated.
If you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to seek care from a hearing healthcare provider. They can help you determine both the cause of your hearing loss and the correct course of treatment. If possible, treating your hearing loss early can save you from significant stress and isolation down the line.
Don’t wait for hearing loss to take a toll on your mental health. Call our office today to schedule your hearing exam.