Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some people get trapped in a constant state of alertness even when they’re not in any peril. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you may be simmering with dread while cooking dinner or calling a friend. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
For others, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some people start to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others battle against some amount of anxiety their whole lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear suddenly, unlike other age related health challenges, it advances slowly and often undetected until suddenly your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to learning you need glasses, but failing vision typically doesn’t cause the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing loss can make it even worse for people who already suffer from depression or anxiety.
What Did You Say?
There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? If I continuously ask people to repeat what they said, will they start to get annoyed with me? Will people stop calling me? When daily activities become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a normal reaction. Why are you turning down invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. While this may help temporarily, over time, you will grow more separated, which will result in additional anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Approximately 18% of the population copes with an anxiety disorder. Recent studies show hearing loss raises the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when neglected. It could work the opposite way also. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of developing 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 Options?
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you observe that your hearing has suddenly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids minimize anxiety by reducing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that could add to your anxiety if you aren’t ready for it. Adapting to wearing hearing aids and finding out all of the settings can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them initially. If you’re still having problems with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. There are numerous ways to manage anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as additional exercise, to benefit your individual situation.