Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. Elevated alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get stuck in a continual state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You could find yourself filled with feelings of dread while performing everyday tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For other people, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some people start to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others battle against some degree of anxiety their whole lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear suddenly, unlike other age related health issues, it progresses gradually and often unnoticed until suddenly your hearing specialist informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can cause anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still occur. Hearing loss can make it even worse for individuals who already struggle with anxiety or depression.
There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? What if I keep saying “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat themselves, will they start to get aggravated with me? Will my children still call? These fears escalate as anxiety takes hold, which is a normal reaction, especially when day-to-day experiences become stressful. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or larger get-togethers, you might want to think about why. If you’re truthful with yourself, you might be turning down invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of struggling to hear conversations. This reaction will ultimately lead to even more anxiety as you grapple with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling like this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Approximately 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Hearing loss, particularly when disregarded, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent research. The connection may go the other way also. Some research has shown that anxiety increases your chances of suffering from hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to unnecessarily deal with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
If hearing loss is producing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve noticed a sudden change in your hearing. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety could increase somewhat due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to wearing them. So if you struggle somewhat initially, be patient and try not to be discouraged. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are many methods to treat anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to improve your individual situation.