Life can get stressful sometimes, and as most know, stress can affect various aspects of a person’s health. This includes emotions, behaviors, thinking ability, and even your physical health. But can stress affect your hearing health? In this blog article, we take a deeper dive into how stress may affect your hearing and what you can do about it.
Stress and Hearing Loss: What You Should Know
If you are always stressed, it can lead to various health problems such as heart disease, headaches, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. (source) When your body responds to stress, the overproduction of adrenaline reduces blood flow, and just about anything that reduces blood flow (i.e. heart disease, diabetes, smoking, etc.), can in fact affect one’s hearing.
How Does Stress Affect Your Hearing Health?
The hair cells in our ears are very fragile and rely on a healthy blood flow in order to receive the optimal amount of oxygen as well as other nutrients. So when stress levels get high and remain constant, it can negatively affect one’s blood circulation causing damage to the hair cells in your ears, which can sometimes lead to hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is known as sensorineural hearing loss.
Poor circulation can also cause pulsatile tinnitus, a condition commonly described 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 can intensify with stress.
Did you Know?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says, long-term stress can be harmful to your health. Acute stress causes adrenaline to increase which makes you breathe faster and divert oxygen to your muscles which may help you in a dangerous situation. Long term, this hormone suppresses your immune, digestive, sleep and reproductive systems.
How to Reduce Stress in Your Life
Here are some tips to help you reduce or manage your stress levels:
- Try to be positive.
- Learn to manage your time more effectively.
- Understand that you cannot control everything.
- When necessary, assert your feelings, opinions, or beliefs, and avoid becoming angry, defensive, or passive.
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat healthy.
- Get enough rest and sleep.
- Seek help when needed – both from loved ones and from medical professionals.
Consult with the Hearing Experts at Kenwood Hearing Center
If you would like to get your hearing checked or speak with a hearing care professional to learn more, contact us today or schedule an appointment online. Whether you want to learn more about hearing loss or available treatment options, we are here to help you!