Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. It warns us of peril, but for some people, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential threat. You could find yourself full of feelings of dread while performing daily tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it normally would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
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 might grapple with these feelings all of their lives, while other people may find as their hearing declines, they begin to feel heightened anxiety.
In contrast to some aging issues which come out of nowhere, 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 being told you need glasses, but hearing loss can trigger anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many individuals. It can happen even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. For people already faced with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they irritated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? When daily activities become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a common response. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you might want to evaluate your reasoning. If you’re honest with yourself, you may be turning down invites as a way to escape the anxiety of struggling to keep up with conversations. This reaction will ultimately produce even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Roughly 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety disorder. Recent studies show hearing loss increases the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when neglected. It could work the opposite way too. According to some research, anxiety will actually increase your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many people continue to deal with both unnecessarily.
Options For Treatment
If hearing loss is producing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off 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 miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety may increase a bit due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to determine the basics of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them initially. If you’re still having issues 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 methods to manage anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to benefit your individual situation.