Being in a constant state of heightened alertness is how anxiety is defined. Elevated alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some people get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they aren’t in any danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you may be simmering with fear while cooking dinner or calling a friend. Everything seems more overwhelming than it typically 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. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some people begin to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others struggle with some degree of anxiety all their lives.
Compared to some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until one day your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to learning you need glasses, but hearing loss can cause anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many people. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still occur. For those already faced with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat themselves, will they begin to get annoyed with me? Will people stop calling me? When day-to-day tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. Why are you turning down invitations for dinner or staying away from gatherings? Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. While this might help temporarily, in the long-term, you will feel more separated, which will result in additional anxiety.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling this way. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when ignored, increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent studies. The connection could go the other way also. According to some research, anxiety will actually increase your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many individuals continue to suffer from both needlessly.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is causing you anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, especially if you’ve noticed a rapid change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids reduce anxiety by preventing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety might increase somewhat as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to using them. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them initially. If you’re still having troubles with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. There are many methods to manage anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to improve your individual situation.