Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. It warns us of peril, but for some, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential threat. You could find yourself filled with feelings of dread while performing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For other people, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms could become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some may grapple with these feelings their whole lives, while others may 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 problems, it progresses slowly and typically undetected until one day your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many people. It can occur 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.
Hearing loss creates new worries: 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 daily activities become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a normal response. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you may want to assess why. If you’re honest with yourself, you may be declining invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of straining to hear conversations. This reaction will inevitably result in even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Approximately 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Recent studies show hearing loss increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when neglected. It may work the opposite way too. Some studies have shown that anxiety raises your chances of suffering from hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many people continue to cope with both needlessly.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
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 notice that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids reduce anxiety by preventing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety could increase a bit as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. So if you struggle somewhat at first, be patient and try not to get discouraged. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. Your doctor can suggest one or more of the many methods to manage anxiety like more exercise or a change in lifestyle.