Hearing Loss and Stress

We're constantly hearing about all the negative health implications resulting from stress, but did you ever think of hearing loss being one of them? Well, it's true.

April is National Stress Awareness Month. While it is normal to experience some stress in life, it's important to note that excessive stress can wreak havoc on your health. According to WebMd:

  • 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects caused by stress
  • 75 – 90% of all doctor visits are for stress related problems
  • Stress can be attributed to headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression and anxiety, as well as hearing loss and tinnitus

According to a study conducted by Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, participants reporting stress relating to poor sleep and bad health were more likely to complain of tinnitus and hearing loss.

Are you suffering from excessive stress? Last year, the Huffington Post asked people to comment on what stress feels like to them on their Facebook page. Here are some of the answers they received:

  • “Like a huge knot in my stomach.”
  • “It feels like being caught in a tsunami; the rolling of the wave keeps you from figuring out which direction to swim.”
  • “I feel like a shark bit me in the stomach.”
  • “It feels like the walls are closing in. A vice grip on my body.”
  • It feels like a weight on my shoulders, gravity pulling me down and a sense of dread.”

The Huffington Post urges Americans to "Make the Most of Stress Awareness Month" because "stress prevents us from truly living our lives". The first step is to become aware of how stress affects you personally and then try to make small changes.

Laughter is actually one of the best natural remedies for stress, reports an article in the New York Daily News. Laughter lowers the active levels of cortisol, adrenaline and epinephrine in your body, while also releasing more dopamine — the feel good hormone.

In addition to laughter, try the following to help you decrease the impact of stress on your life.

  • Talk about your stress – either with people directly linked to your stress, a family member or friend, or a professional
  • Try meditation and/or massage
  • Exercise regularly. Yoga and other forms of exercise are naturally stress-relieving

Stress is certainly a serious condition that shouldn't be ignored. It has been directly linked to all six of the leading causes of death: accidents, cancer, heart disease, suicide, lung disorders, and cirrhosis of the liver all have studies that show definite links to stress. This Stress Awareness Month, make a promise to yourself to address the stresses in your life and make a change for the better.