Being in a continued state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. It alerts us to danger, but for some, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you might be simmering with fear while cooking dinner or talking to a friend. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For others, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some may struggle with these feelings all of their lives, while other people might find as their hearing gets worse, they begin to feel increased anxiety.
Compared to some aging issues which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until all of a sudden your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can cause anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still occur. For individuals already dealing with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
Hearing loss creates new concerns: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat themselves, will they begin to get annoyed with me? Will people stop calling me? When daily tasks become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a common response. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or larger gatherings, 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. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. Anxiety conditions are an issue for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, particularly when disregarded, increases the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. The connection could go the other way also. Some studies have shown that anxiety increases your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to unnecessarily cope with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you notice that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids reduce anxiety by reducing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that could add to your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and adjust to using them. So if you struggle somewhat initially, be patient and try not to get discouraged. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are many ways to deal with anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like increased exercise, to improve your individual situation.