Being in a constant state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some individuals get stuck in a continual state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You could find yourself filled with feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it typically would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.
And anxiety, for others, can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some people start to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others struggle with some amount of anxiety their whole lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear all of a sudden, unlike other age related health concerns, it progresses slowly and frequently undetected until one day your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from being told you need glasses, but failing vision typically doesn’t trigger the same degree of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still happen. For people already faced with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can amplify it.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss creates new concerns: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my kids still call? These concerns escalate as anxiety takes hold, 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 keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. This reaction will inevitably lead to even more anxiety as you grapple with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing 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 chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when left untreated. It may work the opposite way too. Some research has shown that anxiety raises your chances of suffering from hearing loss. It’s unfortunate 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 put it off until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve noticed a sudden change in your hearing. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that may add to your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. Adapting to using hearing aids and learning all of the configurations can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them at first. 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. Your doctor can suggest one or more of the many strategies to manage anxiety like increased exercise or a lifestyle change.