Anxiety is defined as a persistent state of alertness. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some people get trapped in a continual state of alertness even when they’re not in any peril. You could find yourself full of feelings of dread while performing everyday tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.
For other people, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some may struggle with these feelings all of their lives, while others might find as their hearing gets worse, they begin to feel increased anxiety.
Hearing loss doesn’t surface suddenly, unlike other age related health challenges, it advances slowly and typically unnoticed until suddenly your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from being told you need glasses, but hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many individuals. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already struggle with anxiety or depression.
Hearing loss produces new concerns: How much did you say that cost? What if I keep saying “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat themselves, will they begin to get aggravated with me? Will my children still call? These worries escalate as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, particularly when day-to-day experiences become stressful. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? If you’re honest with yourself, you might be turning down invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of straining to hear conversations. While this could help temporarily, in the long-term, you will grow more separated, which will result in increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety conditions are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when disregarded, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent studies. The correlation may go the other way as well. Some research has shown that anxiety raises your chances of suffering from hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many people continue to deal with 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 noticed a rapid change in your hearing. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing mis-communication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety may increase somewhat due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the ins and outs of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. So if you struggle somewhat at first, be patient and try not to be frustrated. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the numerous methods to manage anxiety like more exercise or a change in lifestyle.