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Hear Better With Soundwave

5 min read

Can Better Hearing Reduce Social Anxiety?

The impact of social anxiety is felt by millions worldwide, many of whom have heightened self-consciousness due to hearing loss. In extreme cases,  social anxiety might cause people to avoid social interactions which can negatively affect work, interpersonal relationships, and many other factors of living a full and happy life. 

Those who experience social anxiety can have intense fear or nervousness that leads to a deterioration of social relationships. This anxiety can live in the body in a variety of ways, including physical symptoms like sweating, nausea, dizziness, and muscle tension. This anxiety can also cause hearing loss

In this article, we’ll focus on the ties between anxiety and hearing loss and answer the question, “Can better hearing reduce social anxiety?” 

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Anxiety and Hearing Loss

Anxiety and hearing loss can often present as comorbidities. While they’re not exclusive to each other, it’s important to recognize that unmanaged anxiety can cause hearing loss and in turn hearing loss can cause anxiety, especially social anxiety. Let’s explore both facets of this discussion to learn more about this complex relationship.

Anxiety Causing Hearing Loss

Managing your daily life can be stressful – there is a constant need to address work, family matters, household tasks, and more. If you experience prolonged stress, your body can find it difficult to manage the internal signs of being stressed over the long term. As a result, chronically stressed individuals can suffer high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, including hearing loss. However, anxiety doesn’t outright cause hearing loss; it happens downstream due to the body being unable to regulate stress. 

Physical conditions due to prolonged stress that affect your circulation, like heart disease, can eventually lead to hearing loss. Our hearing cells rely on good circulation to function properly. If our circulation is negatively affected by stress, so will our hearing. These hearing cells, called hair cells, can become damaged or die, which negatively impacts their ability to carry sound signals to the brain for us to process.  As a result, we develop hearing loss. 

Hearing Loss Causing Anxiety

If you have recently received a diagnosis of hearing loss, you are likely aware of the challenges it can bring to your daily life. Hearing loss can significantly impact your ability to carry out your usual activities, engage in conversations with loved ones, and perform effectively at work. Furthermore, the diagnosis itself can trigger concerns—worries about accurately perceiving what others are saying, caring for your hearing aids, and worrying about how others perceive you. These worries can contribute to the development of anxiety, and even social anxiety, as a consequence of your hearing loss. In fact,  a study conducted in 2017 revealed that individuals with mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss experienced higher levels of anxiety compared to those without hearing loss. Particularly if anxiety played a role in the onset of your hearing loss, managing the additional anxiety that arises due to the condition may seem like an insurmountable challenge. Nevertheless, it is possible to manage both anxiety and hearing loss by discussing your concerns with your doctor and exploring the option of using over-the-counter hearing aids.


Can Anxiety Cause Tinnitus?

So, can anxiety cause tinnitus? Tinnitus is typically characterized by a persistent ringing sensation perceived in one or both ears. Acute instances of tinnitus can stem from causes such as ear infections, traumatic head or neck injuries, or certain medications. However, tinnitus can also manifest as a consequence of hearing loss, specifically resulting from damage inflicted upon the delicate hair cells within the inner ear. These hair cells play a pivotal role in transducing sound vibrations into electrical signals, which are then relayed to the brain for auditory processing. In instances where these cells become damaged or distorted, they can emit irregular electrical signals, thereby giving rise to the perception of tinnitus. Now, the question at hand is: can anxiety cause tinnitus?

The answer, in a technical sense, is yes. Just as anxiety can contribute to the onset of hearing loss by affecting blood circulation, it can potentially inflict harm upon the hair cells, ultimately leading to tinnitus. While infections or physical obstructions can directly trigger the occurrence of tinnitus, anxiety can indirectly induce it through the intricate interplay between prolonged stress and alterations in blood circulation.

Tinnitus can prove to be extremely vexing and disruptive, to the point where it hampers one's ability to effectively communicate with others or concentrate on tasks at hand. Should your tinnitus significantly impede your quality of life, it is strongly advised to seek consultation with a medical professional. Similar to the association observed between anxiety and hearing loss, the development of tinnitus can give rise to heightened levels of anxiety, as well as accompanying symptoms such as depression, irritability, and headaches.

While specific hearing aids tailored for tinnitus management may provide relief, the optimal approach revolves around mitigating stress levels and averting its initial onset. By comprehending the intricate connections existing between anxiety and hearing loss, as well as anxiety and tinnitus, we gain valuable insights into these conditions and can explore effective strategies for their management. Nevertheless, the question remains: can enhanced auditory perception through improved hearing capabilities alleviate symptoms of social anxiety?


Can Better Hearing Reduce Social Anxiety?

So, can better hearing reduce social anxiety? It’s quite possible. Hearing loss can make talking to others, working, and your routine much more difficult, which can cause significant anxiety and/or social anxiety. If you find that you experience more anxiety as a result of your hearing loss, it might be possible that hearing better can reduce your anxiety. This is possible through using hearing aids, namely over-the-counter hearing aids, which are affordable yet efficient. Hearing aids can help you regain confidence and happiness, in addition to being able to hear friends and family. Try hearing over-the-counter hearing aids today to see how they can transform your every day.

Hear Better with Soundwave

At Soundwave, we believe that hearing your loved ones is critical to a  good quality of life. We offer simple and affordable options for hearing your friends and family.  Our Sontro® Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aids are a simple yet effective solution for mild-to-moderate hearing loss. 

Along with your hearing aids, Soundwave provides one free month of Amptify. Amptify’s hearing health platform is home to a variety of resources that aid patients and professionals as they navigate the world of hearing health. This platform gives you access to coaching, an interactive curriculum, auditory training, video games, and a peer support community. After all, the better educated you are about your ear health, the better prepared you are to care for yourself. 

So, return to easy conversations and a normal routine by investing in your future with Soundwave.