Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. It warns us of peril, but for some people, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. You may find yourself full of feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
For other individuals, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms could become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some individuals begin to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others struggle with some degree of anxiety their whole lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear all of a sudden, unlike other age related health challenges, it progresses gradually and frequently unnoticed 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 hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many people. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still occur. Hearing loss can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from anxiety or depression.
What Did You Say?
There are new concerns with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat themselves, will they start to get aggravated with me? Will people stop calling me? These concerns intensify as anxiety takes hold, which is a common reaction, particularly when day-to-day experiences become stressful. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of 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 reaction will inevitably result in even more anxiety as you cope with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety disorders are an issue for 18% of the population. Recent research shows hearing loss raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when neglected. It could work the opposite way also. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise 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.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If hearing loss is causing 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 noticed a rapid change in your hearing. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety might increase a little due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. So if you struggle somewhat initially, be patient and try not to get discouraged. 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 many methods to treat anxiety like more exercise or a change in lifestyle.