Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. It alerts us to danger, but for some people, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential danger. You may find yourself full of feelings of dread while performing everyday tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
For other individuals, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some individuals start to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others struggle with some degree of anxiety all their lives.
Compared to some aging challenges which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until one day your hearing specialist informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like learning you need glasses, but hearing loss can cause anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many individuals. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing loss can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from anxiety or depression.
What Did You Say?
There are new worries 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 children still call? These fears escalate as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, particularly when daily activities become stressful. Why are you turning down invitations for dinner or staying away from 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 response will ultimately lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling like this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent research shows hearing loss increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when neglected. It may work the opposite way also. Some studies have shown that anxiety raises your chances of suffering from hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to unnecessarily deal with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If hearing loss is producing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you find that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that might enhance your anxiety if you aren’t ready for it. Adapting to using hearing aids and finding out all of the settings can take a couple of weeks. So if you struggle a little initially, be patient and try not to get discouraged. If you’re still having issues 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 numerous methods to manage anxiety like more exercise or a change in lifestyle.