Being in a persistent state of elevated alertness is how anxiety is defined. It warns us of danger, but for some people, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. You may find yourself full of feelings of anxiety while performing everyday tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For other individuals, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some may struggle with these feelings all of their lives, while other people might find as their hearing gets worse, they begin to feel heightened anxiety.
Hearing loss doesn’t emerge all of a sudden, unlike other age related health concerns, it progresses gradually and often 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 occur with deteriorating vision for many individuals. It can occur even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. For people already dealing with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
There are new worries with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they aggravated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my kids still call? These worries intensify as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, especially when daily experiences become stressful. 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 truthful with yourself. While this could help in the short-term, in the long-term, you will become more isolated, which will result in increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling like this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Anxiety conditions are an issue for 18% of the population. Recent studies show hearing loss raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when left untreated. The correlation could go the other way also. Some research has shown that anxiety increases your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to needlessly deal with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.
Choices For Treatment
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. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing mis-communication which reduces anxiety.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that may enhance your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to determine the basics of hearing aids and get used to wearing them. So if you struggle a little at first, be patient and try not to get frustrated. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the many strategies to manage anxiety such as increased exercise or a lifestyle change.