Strain Contributes to Problems with Hearing | Blog | Nardelli Audiology

Strain Contributes to Problems with Hearing

By Melissa Carnes Rose, Au.D. May 16, 2022
Strain Contributes to Problems with Hearing - Nardelli Audiology Blog

Stress is an inevitable but annoying part of life. It can lead to a wide variety of physical and psychological problems, one of them being loss of hearing. Your body attempts to cope with stressors by releasing certain chemicals which provide you with energy to combat the stressful situation. Over time, this constant stress mode can take its toll on your health and well-being.

The many woes of stress are well-known. Be it hypertension, migraine, diabetes, or even strokes and heart attacks, all of these can be attributed to stress. Stress can also damage our hearing over time due to the lack of oxygen-enriched blood flow to the ears which can damage the delicate hair follicles of the inner ear.

High blood pressure due to stress can take its toll on your hearing by causing tinnitus which is the ringing sensation of the ears in the absence of any external stimulus. You may also begin to experience a stuffed up sensation within your ears, earaches, or complete deafness.

People may not take the ringing in their ears too seriously, but tinnitus may actually be an indication of an underlying health problem. A recent study conducted by S. Herbert reported that around 53% of people experiencing tinnitus reported that they were going through some kind of stressful situation during the time of testing. The problem with stress and tinnitus is that both feed into each other, where stress leads to tinnitus and experiencing tinnitus also leads to increased stress.

The most obvious thing to do when encountering stress is to relieve it so that you can prevent permanent hearing loss. This, unfortunately, is often easier said than done. Stress relief is possible with a few useful and easy suggestions outlined below.

Stress and relaxation cannot coexist, so start by relaxing your body and mind. You can do this by simply taking in a deep breath to fill up your lungs with fresh air, and as you exhale, feel your stress leaving your body through your breath. Clench your fists when you inhale and unclench them slowly as you exhale, feeling the sense of relaxation flowing in. Lie down in a dimly lit room and continue to clench and unclench your muscles of your neck, shoulders, hands, abdomen, and feet as you continue to breathe in deeply.

The above technique is known as progressive muscle relaxation. You can find online videos to help guide you through the relaxation process. Make sure you take time out for yourself each day to do something enjoy, even if it is only for 15 minutes.

You can join a yoga or aerobics class that can help you get some physical activity while allowing you to reduce your stress at the same time. Physical fitness has also been shown to boost your hearing by increasing the blood supply to your ears. Take time out for yourself because in the end, you are truly the only person you’ve got!

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