Anxiety is defined as a persistent state of alertness. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they’re not in any peril. You may find yourself filled with feelings of anxiety while doing everyday tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some people begin to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others battle against some levels of anxiety all their lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear all of a sudden, unlike other age related health problems, it advances slowly and typically unnoticed until suddenly 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 trigger anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many people. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still occur. For individuals already faced with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can amplify it.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss creates new concerns: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? If I continuously ask people to repeat what they said, will they begin to get annoyed with me? Will people stop calling me? When everyday activities become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a normal response. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you might want to assess why. Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. While this may help temporarily, in the long-term, you will grow more separated, which will lead to increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Approximately 18% of the population copes with an anxiety disorder. Hearing loss, especially when ignored, increases the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent studies. It could work the opposite way too. Some studies have shown that anxiety raises your chances of suffering from hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many people continue to deal with both needlessly.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should make an appointment to be 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. For many, hearing aids decrease anxiety by fighting miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that could enhance your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to determine 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 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 recommend one or more of the many methods to manage anxiety such as increased exercise or a change in lifestyle.