Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some people get trapped in a constant state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You may find yourself filled with feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For others, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some may struggle with these feelings their whole lives, while other people might find as their hearing worsens, they start to feel heightened anxiety.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear all of a sudden, unlike other age related health problems, it advances gradually and typically unnoticed until one day your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like learning you need glasses, but hearing loss can trigger anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many individuals. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already struggle with anxiety or depression.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss creates new worries: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat themselves, will they start to get annoyed with me? Will my children still call? These fears escalate as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, particularly when daily experiences become stressful. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? If you’re truthful with yourself, you may be declining invites as a way to escape the anxiety of struggling to hear conversations. This response will ultimately result in even more anxiety as you grapple with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You aren’t the only person feeling like this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when disregarded, increases the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent research. The connection may go the other way also. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many individuals continue to suffer from both needlessly.
Options For Treatment
If hearing loss is causing you anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, especially if you’ve observed 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 a bit due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adjusting to wearing hearing aids and finding out all of the configurations can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them at first. If you’re still having problems with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to call your doctor. There are many ways to treat anxiety, and your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes like increased exercise, to benefit your individual situation.