Being in a persistent state of heightened alertness is how anxiety is defined. Elevated alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they aren’t in any peril. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you could be simmering with dread while cooking dinner or calling a friend. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For other people, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some people begin to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others struggle with some amount of anxiety all their lives.
Unlike some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak 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 failing vision typically doesn’t cause the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can occur even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. Hearing loss can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from depression or anxiety.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss produces new worries: Did I mishear that price? 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 children still call? When day-to-day activities become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or bigger gatherings, you may want to evaluate why. If you’re truthful with yourself, you might be turning down invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of straining to hear conversations. While this could help in the short-term, in the long-term, you will grow more isolated, which will lead to increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. About 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Hearing loss, particularly when ignored, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. It may work the opposite way too. Some research has shown that anxiety increases your chances of suffering from hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many individuals continue to suffer from both needlessly.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off until your next check-up, especially if you’ve noticed a sudden change in your hearing. Hearing aids minimize 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 learn the basics of hearing aids and get used to using them. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them at first. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. There are numerous methods to manage anxiety, and your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to benefit your individual situation.