Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. It alerts us to danger, but for some, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you may be simmering with dread while cooking dinner or calling a friend. Everything seems more daunting than it typically would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.
And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some might struggle with these feelings their whole lives, while other people might find as their hearing declines, they start to feel increased anxiety.
Unlike some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until all of a sudden your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to learning you need glasses, but hearing loss can cause anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. It can occur 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.
Hearing loss creates new concerns: Did I mishear that price? What if I keep saying “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat what they said, will they start to get annoyed with me? Will people stop calling me? When everyday tasks become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a normal reaction. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being honest 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 like this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety conditions are an issue for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, particularly when ignored, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. It could work the opposite way also. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many individuals continue to deal with both needlessly.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is causing you anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, especially if you’ve detected a sudden change in your hearing. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety may increase somewhat as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to determine the ins and outs of hearing aids and adjust to using them. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them at first. If you’re still having troubles 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 many strategies to treat anxiety like increased exercise or a change in lifestyle.