Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. It warns us of peril, but for some, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential threat. You could find yourself full of feelings of dread while performing daily tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
For other people, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some might struggle with these feelings all of their lives, while other people may find as their hearing worsens, they begin to feel increased anxiety.
Hearing loss doesn’t surface all of a sudden, unlike other age related health problems, it advances slowly and typically undetected until one day your hearing specialist informs you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still occur. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already struggle with anxiety or depression.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss creates new concerns: Did I mishear that price? What if I say ‘huh?’ too many times? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? These fears intensify as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, especially when everyday experiences become stressful. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or larger gatherings, you may want to assess your reasoning. Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. While this may help temporarily, over time, you will become more separated, which will result in additional anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent studies show hearing loss increases the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when neglected. It may work the opposite way also. Some studies have shown that anxiety raises your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many individuals continue to suffer from both needlessly.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you observe that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids decrease anxiety by fighting miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that may enhance your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to determine the basics of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them at first. If you’re still having issues with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to call your doctor. There are many ways to deal with anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to benefit your individual situation.