Anxiety is defined as a persistent state of alertness. Elevated alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some people get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they’re not in any peril. You could find yourself filled with feelings of dread while performing daily tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some might grapple with these feelings their whole lives, while others might find as their hearing gets worse, they begin to feel increased anxiety.
In contrast to some aging challenges which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until all of a sudden your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to learning you need glasses, but hearing loss can cause anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. It can happen even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already struggle with depression or anxiety.
There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? These concerns intensify as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, particularly when everyday activities become stressful. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or staying away from gatherings? Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. This response will eventually lead to even more anxiety as you grapple with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, particularly when neglected, raises the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent research. The correlation may go the other way also. According to some studies, anxiety will actually increase your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to needlessly cope with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is causing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve detected a sudden change in your hearing. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing mis-communication which reduces anxiety.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that might enhance your anxiety if you aren’t ready for it. It can take weeks to determine the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to using them. So if you struggle a little at first, be patient and try not to get frustrated. If you’re still having troubles with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to call your doctor. Your doctor can suggest one or more of the numerous strategies to manage anxiety such as more exercise or a change in lifestyle.