How Stress Can Affect Your Hearing Health
Some stress is unavoidable and generally considered normal. If stress isn't monitored, it could cause issues that may lead to hearing loss. It can also lead to tinnitus. How could stress end up affecting your hearing? Below, we explore this topic and offer some solutions.
Stress, Circulation, and Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is often related to many conditions that can be due to chronic stress. Many of these conditions affect circulation. Stress can aggravate common health-related issues that include:
- Heart disease
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure
The poor blood circulation that is common with these conditions can restrict blood flow in your ears. Small hairs in your inner ear need blood circulation to function. These hairs help change sounds in the ear into signals the brain can interpret.
If you damage inner ear sensors or they die due to a lack of blood circulation, the result can be hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is sensorineural hearing loss, or SNHL. This is the most common type of hearing loss. It is also one of the permanent types of hearing loss.
Stress, Tinnitus, and Hearing Loss
Chronic stress doesn't cause tinnitus. If you have existing tinnitus, stress can cause a flare-up. Poor blood circulation can be a result from conditions affected by stress. Those could cause pulsatile tinnitus. This type of tinnitus often causes rhythmic ear noise. This follows the person's heartbeat. We recommend immediate hearing care or medical attention if you experience pulsatile tinnitus.
Stress, Yawning, and Hearing Loss
Stress can also make you tired. Not sleeping well can lead to excessive yawning. This can throw off the pressure in your ears. You may experience hearing loss or a feeling of "stuffiness" that impairs your hearing.
Solutions for Stress and Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss isn't reversible. Care for this type of hearing loss may involve efforts to manage stress better. According to the American Psychological Association, you can keep stress in check by:
- Taking breaks when you're feeling stressed
- Getting regular exercise to improve your body-mind health
- Finding ways to laugh and smile to ease tension in your facial muscles and reduce stress
- Exploring meditation and other relaxation techniques
- Talking to someone about your stress issues, or seeking other forms of support
If tinnitus is being affected by stress, we recommend including stress management. Depending on what's going on, a hearing professional could suggest a hearing aid. This occurs if there are structural issues affecting your hearing.
Call Us Today
Beltone of Northwest Florida is your source for a wide range of hearing care options. If stress may be contributing to hearing loss, reach out to our hearing care team today. Call us today to set up an appointment to discuss your concerns about hearing loss.