Its well known that your hearing can be affected by stress. Stress isn’t all bad; sometimes it can be useful, and it has definitely played a part in the evolutionary process. When you are stressed, you are really in the well-known ‘fight or flight’ mode. That means you can think or act quickly, keeping you out of harm’s way. However, when this happens you are meant to then relax and calm down, going back to normal. With long-term, or chronic stress, this come down doesn’t happen, and that’s where the problem lies.
How stress affects you
When you suffer from chronic stress there are many different health issues that can follow. Your blood pressure will rise, and this can lead to stroke or a heart attack. You can develop heart conditions. You might form an ulcer. You can even suffer with depression or anxiety amongst other mental illnesses.
How your hearing can be affected
It may not be the first health concern that you have when you are going through chronic stress, but it is certainly something to be aware of. It all comes down to your circulation. When your circulatory system is working as it should, the tiny sensor hairs within your inner ear are able to translate the sounds that your outer ear collects, transmit that information to your brain, and you are able to understand what you are hearing.
When you are stressed, your circulatory system is affected, and that in turn affects the hairs within the inner ear. This is called sensorineural hearing loss. The message can’t be translated correctly, and therefore, if it is even sent at all, it isn’t properly understood.
Relaxation is key when it comes to minimising your hearing being affected by stress and reducing your stress levels, and although it won’t always be easy – it will depend on the situation you are going through – but it is always a good idea to try. Ideas to reduce stress include:
- A hobby
- A nap
- Going for a walk