Being in a constant state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. It alerts us to danger, but for some people, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential threat. You could find yourself filled with feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
For others, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms could become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some may struggle with these feelings their whole lives, while others may find that as their hearing gets worse, they start to feel heightened anxiety.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear all of a sudden, unlike other age related health concerns, it progresses slowly and frequently unnoticed until one day your hearing specialist informs you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from being told you need glasses, but hearing loss can cause anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. It can happen even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. For individuals already struggling with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can amplify it.
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 continuously ask people to repeat themselves, will they start to get annoyed with me? Will my kids still call? These worries intensify as anxiety takes hold, which is a common reaction, particularly when everyday experiences become stressful. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or staying away from gatherings? Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. This response will inevitably lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You aren’t the only person feeling this way. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety conditions are an issue for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when ignored, increases the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. The correlation could go the other way as well. According to some studies, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many individuals continue to suffer from both unnecessarily.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If hearing loss is producing 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 detected a sudden change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids reduce anxiety by fighting miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety may increase somewhat due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adjusting 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 initially. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are numerous methods to treat anxiety, and your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes like increased exercise, to benefit your individual situation.