Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some people get trapped in a continuous state of alertness even when they aren’t in any peril. You may find yourself filled with feelings of anxiety while performing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For other people, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some individuals start to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others battle against some amount of anxiety their whole lives.
Unlike some aging challenges which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to creep 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 often doesn’t trigger the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can occur even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. For people already struggling with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
What Did You Say?
There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my kids still call? These fears intensify as anxiety sets in, which is a normal reaction, particularly when day-to-day experiences become stressful. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or bigger gatherings, you may want to think about your reasoning. Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. While this could help temporarily, in the long-term, you will become more isolated, which will result in increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Roughly 18% of the population copes with an anxiety disorder. Hearing loss, particularly when ignored, increases the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent studies. The connection could go the other way as well. Some studies have shown that anxiety increases your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many individuals continue to suffer from both unnecessarily.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is causing you anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off until your next check-up, especially if you’ve detected a sudden change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids reduce anxiety by fighting mis-communications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety could increase a little due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to determine the ins and outs of hearing aids and adjust to using them. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them initially. If you’re still having troubles with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. There are numerous ways to deal with anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to improve your individual situation.