Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. It alerts us to peril, but for some, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you could be simmering with fear while making dinner or calling a friend. Everything seems more daunting than it normally would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some might struggle with these feelings all of their lives, while others may find that as their hearing worsens, they begin to feel increased anxiety.
In contrast to some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until one day your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to learning you need glasses, but failing vision typically doesn’t trigger the same degree of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can happen even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. Hearing loss can make it even worse for people who already struggle with depression or anxiety.
There are new worries with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they aggravated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my children still call? When everyday tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a normal response. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or larger get-togethers, you might want to assess why. Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. This reaction will eventually lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent studies show hearing loss raises the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when left untreated. 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 a shame so many individuals continue to deal with both unnecessarily.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is causing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, especially if you’ve observed a sudden change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids minimize anxiety by fighting miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
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 adjust to using them. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them initially. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. There are numerous methods to deal with anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as additional exercise, to benefit your individual situation.