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Stress on Hearing Loss

The world’s perspective towards life has changed after covid. People have begun to choose peace, slow living and health over material things. People are more aware of their diets and maintaining their mental health. Unfortunately, this does not mean that we are all any less stressed. The post-covid world has been quite chaotic and worrisome with economic slowdown and recession leading to layoffs. The Ministry of Health is now warning us about a new virus called the H3N2 that presents itself as the flu. There is a thick air of uncertainty in everyone's lives and the pandemic bitterness still lingers, silently affecting all our lives.



Stress and anxiety have been on the forefront of people’s woes since time immemorial! We all know that stress and anxiety can affect on the body in the form of gastro-intestinal problems, headaches, shortness of breath, cardiovascular disorders such as hypertension, stroke or heart attacks, chronic fatigue, metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity, depression and immune disorders among several others. These are undoubtedly some serious issues to steer clear of, but we all have overlooked one other serious problem that stress can cause: Hearing! Research shows that stress and anxiety can also lead to deterioration of hearing health.



How?


Research suggests that stress and anxiety can impact your hearing significantly, by causing changes in your auditory system. This is because your hearing is facilitated by tiny little structures called the hair cells, and they are really fragile. These hair cells require a constant flow of oxygen for their regular functioning. When you are stressed, your body responds to it by increasing the production of adrenaline. When this happens, the flow of blood into your inner ear is disrupted.



So what happens?

You guessed that right!


The hair cells get damaged and eventually die due to lack of oxygen.

The funny thing about these hair cells is that their number is fixed at birth. Once they die, they do not regenerate. This can lead to permanent hearing loss.



In addition to causing hearing loss, stress and anxiety can also lead to other hearing related issues such as tinnitus and reduced tolerance to loud sounds i.e., hyperacusis.


What can you do about it?


Hearing loss is definitely something to avoid and be careful about. Did you know that untreated hearing loss can lead to dementia and other cognitive and balance disorders?

So, stress is definitely one to avoid in your life!


You can use various stress relieving techniques, thereby improving the oxygen supply into your inner ear.


You can manage your stress by:
  • Meditation

  • Breathing exercises

  • Yoga

  • Journaling

  • Healthy eating

  • Seek help and support from your loved ones

  • Seek help from a professional, that is okay too!



 


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