Being in a continual state of heightened alertness is how anxiety is defined. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some people get trapped in a constant state of alertness even when they aren’t in any danger. You may find yourself full of feelings of dread while performing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
For other people, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some individuals begin to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others struggle with some amount of anxiety their whole lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t show up suddenly, unlike other age related health problems, it advances slowly and typically undetected until one day your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like learning you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t cause the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can happen even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for people who already struggle with depression or anxiety.
What Did You Say?
There are new concerns with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my children still call? These fears escalate as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, especially when day-to-day activities become stressful. Why are you turning down invitations for dinner or staying away from gatherings? Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. This reaction will eventually result in even more anxiety as you grapple with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. Roughly 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Hearing loss, especially when disregarded, raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent studies. The connection may go the other way as well. According to some research, anxiety will actually increase your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many people continue to suffer from both unnecessarily.
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 wait until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve observed a sudden change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids minimize anxiety by preventing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety could increase somewhat due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adapting to wearing hearing aids and learning all of the settings can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them at first. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. Your doctor can suggest one or more of the many methods to manage anxiety like increased exercise or a lifestyle change.