Being in a continued state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. It alerts us to danger, but for some people, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you may be simmering with fear while making dinner or talking to a friend. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For other individuals, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some may suffer from these feelings their whole lives, while other people might find that as their hearing gets worse, they start to feel increased anxiety.
Unlike some aging challenges which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until one day your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t trigger the same amount of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for people who already struggle with depression or anxiety.
What Did You Say?
There are new worries with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? If I continuously ask people to repeat themselves, will they start to get annoyed with me? Will people stop calling me? When day-to-day tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. Why are you turning down invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. This reaction will eventually result in even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Around 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety condition. Recent studies show hearing loss increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when neglected. The connection may go the other way too. Some studies have shown that anxiety raises your chances of suffering from hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to needlessly cope with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
If hearing loss is causing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you notice that your hearing has suddenly changed, come in as soon as you can. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety might increase a little as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adapting to using hearing aids and finding out all of the settings can take a couple of weeks. So if you struggle a little initially, be patient and try not to be discouraged. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the numerous methods to treat anxiety like more exercise or a lifestyle change.