Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. It alerts us to peril, but for some people, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. You may find yourself full of feelings of dread while performing everyday tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it typically would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.
And anxiety, for others, can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some may grapple with these feelings their whole lives, while others might find as their hearing worsens, they start to feel increased anxiety.
Compared to some aging challenges which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until all of a sudden your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like finding out you need glasses, but failing vision often doesn’t trigger the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still occur. For people already struggling with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can amplify it.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss produces new concerns: Did I mishear that price? What if I keep saying “huh”? If I continuously ask people to repeat themselves, will they start to get aggravated with me? Will people stop calling me? When daily activities become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a common reaction. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or larger get-togethers, you might want to think about your reasoning. Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. This reaction will ultimately result in even more anxiety as you grapple with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling this way. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Anxiety conditions are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when neglected, increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. It may work the opposite way too. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many people continue to deal with both needlessly.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If hearing loss is producing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, especially if you’ve noticed a rapid change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids reduce anxiety by reducing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety may increase somewhat due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to determine the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to wearing them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them at first. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. There are numerous methods to treat anxiety, and your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes like increased exercise, to benefit your individual situation.