It’s no secret that stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, but what’s less known is how it can quietly undermine our hearing health. Understanding the connection between chronic stress and auditory issues is crucial for maintaining not just our overall health, but also our ability to hear long-term.
Stress And Your Ears
The inner ear is a delicate system with tiny hair cells that need a constant flow of oxygenated blood to function. When stress affects our cardiovascular system, it can lead to poor circulation, damaging these cells. Unfortunately, once damaged, these hair cells don’t regenerate, and this can mean trouble for hearing specific sounds, like conversations in noisy coffee shops such as Dagny’s Coffee Co.
Health issues like heart disease and diabetes have implications for hearing due to their role in blood flow. Poor circulation can also cause a form of ringing in the ears known as pulsatile tinnitus. Stress has a similar effect on blood flow.
Stress And Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a ringing or buzzing sound when there isn’t any actual noise present. It’s a condition that tends to get worse when you’re stressed, and the constant noise can make you even more stressed—a maddening cycle.
Reducing stress might not cure tinnitus or undo hearing damage, but incorporating stress management strategies into your life can help safeguard your ears and promote better health overall.
Here are some simple ways to manage stress:
• Take breaks: A short time away from stressful situations can drastically reduce your stress level.
• Find reasons to laugh: Smiling and laughing can relax your face muscles and make you feel happier.
• Move your body: Regular exercise is good for your health in general and helps with stress relief and management.
• Reach out for support: Talking things through with friends or professionals can give you new insights into managing stress.
• Try meditating: Meditation can calm both your mind and body.
If stress is becoming too much for you to handle alone, seeking professional help is recommended. A doctor can offer advice on dealing with stress and talk about medication if it’s needed.
Noticing a dip in your hearing? Don’t wait to get it checked out. Book a hearing test with The House Institute Hearing Health Centers; looking after your hearing now can help lessen stress down the road.