You may have heard the phrase, stress is a silent killer, and it’s true. Chronic stress negatively affects many areas of our lives and has been linked to manifest psychological and physical symptoms in the body, and even disease. However, did you know that there is also a link between stress and hearing loss? While stress is a natural bodily response to emotional or physical demands, too much stress can wreak havoc on your health and your hearing. Stress can weaken your immune system, lead to high blood pressure, migraines, gastrointestinal problems, as well as tinnitus and hearing loss.
When your body responds to stress, blood circulation is disrupted and blood flow to the ears is reduced due to the overproduction of adrenaline. Unfortunately, the cells in your ears are fragile and rely heavily on a steady blood stream to receive oxygen and nutrients. Without this steady blood flow, the cells become damaged, affecting your ability to hear. Chronic stress can lead to gradual hearing loss, sudden hearing loss, and even tinnitus. The symptoms of hearing loss that’s due to stress include:
- Pain or pressure in the ear
- Muffled sounds
- Ears feel blocked or stuffed
- Hearing loss in one or both ears
Reducing the stress levels in your life is beneficial to your health and your hearing, even if you can’t fully prevent hearing loss. If you want to get a better handle on managing stress, try out some of these simple techniques to help you de-stress.
- Breathe deeply – By taking a deep breath you can reduce blood pressure, lower your heartbeat, decrease your metabolism, and relax your muscles. So when your stressed, take a few minutes to take some deep breathes.
- Show yourself love – Make some time for yourself daily to do the things that you love. Taking the time to unwind is a necessity if you want to keep your health in check. If you love to read, make art, practice yoga, listen to music, or meditate be sure to add it to your daily schedule!
- Stay positive – Despite the events that happen in our lives, it is ultimately up to you how you respond. While we can’t prevent life’s mishaps and stressors, we can control our mindset on the matter. By staying positive you have a better chance of calming down and controlling your stress.
- Take care of yourself – Eating a balanced diet and exercising daily is an excellent way to take care of your physical and mental health. Eating healthy contributes to better physical health, and by exercising you can effectively relieve frustration as well as tension.