Stress is a natural part of life. Between family, job, and social obligations, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. It can impact your health in very profound ways, including impacting your hearing. Being mindful of the degree and duration of stress is an important way to monitor your overall health.
Acute vs. Long-term Stress
During acute stress responses, your heart rate and breathing may increase as a result of your adrenaline flowing. After the threat triggering this “fight or flight” response is neutralized, the body typically returns to neutral to recover from the surge of adrenaline.
However, there are times when stress continues for an extended period, thereby causing the body to keep releasing adrenaline without much (or any) rest and recovery time. This type of long-term stress is harmful to your health and can affect your immune, digestive, sleep, and reproductive systems.
Chronic Stress and Hearing Loss
Stress is often not an isolated condition. Its interrelationship with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking can have significant health consequences. These conditions impact and restrict your circulation, which in turn can affect your hearing.
The small sensory hairs of your inner ear need good blood circulation to survive and thrive in doing their job of interpreting sound. With poor circulation, these inner ear hairs can be damaged or die and result in hearing loss.
4 Tips for Managing Stress
More stress causes more health complications. Therefore, proactively managing it is a crucial way to protect yourself. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) publishes a stress index to help…
- Exercise regularly. Maintaining a regular flow of physical activity boosts cardiovascular health. Commit to even 15-20 minutes a day of getting your heart pumping and worry less about your heart health.
- Talk to someone. Finding a therapist or counselor to talk to during difficult periods can be a big help to reduce and process stress.
- Get a checkup. Visit your doctor, naturopath, or other healthcare professional to get a clearer picture of the impact stress is having on your body. They may be able to prescribe additional medications, supplements, or strategies to help your body recover.
- Get your hearing checked. If you’ve noticed a change in your hearing or have concerns about circulatory conditions, book an assessment with your hearing healthcare professional.
Concerned about the effects of stress on your hearing health? Talk to us today.