Anxiety is defined as a continual 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 aren’t in any peril. You could find yourself full of feelings of anxiety while doing everyday tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
For other individuals, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some may grapple with these feelings all of their lives, while other people might find that as their hearing worsens, they start to feel increased anxiety.
Compared to some aging challenges which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until all of a sudden your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like finding out you need glasses, but failing vision typically doesn’t cause the same degree of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can happen even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from depression or anxiety.
There are new concerns with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they irritated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? When everyday activities become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a common reaction. Why are you turning down invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? If you’re honest with yourself, you might be turning down invites as a way to escape the anxiety of straining to keep up with conversations. While this could help temporarily, in the long-term, you will grow more isolated, which will lead to increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Approximately 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety disorder. Hearing loss, particularly when ignored, increases the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent studies. It may work the opposite way also. According to some studies, anxiety will actually raise your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many people continue to suffer from both unnecessarily.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should make an appointment to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you find that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that might add to your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to determine the basics of hearing aids and get used to using them. So if you struggle somewhat at first, be patient and try not to get frustrated. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. There are numerous methods to manage anxiety, and your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to improve your individual situation.