Anxiety is defined as a persistent state of alertness. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get trapped in a continuous state of alertness even when they’re not in any peril. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you may be simmering with dread while cooking dinner or calling a friend. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For other people, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some individuals begin to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others struggle with some amount of anxiety their whole lives.
In contrast to some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until all of a sudden your hearing professional informs 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 amount of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can happen even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. For individuals already faced with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
There are new worries with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? What if I keep saying “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat themselves, will they start to get annoyed with me? Will people stop calling me? When day-to-day activities become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. This reaction will inevitably result in 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. Approximately 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Hearing loss, especially when neglected, raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. The connection could go the other way too. According to some research, anxiety will actually increase your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many individuals continue to deal with both needlessly.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is causing anxiety, it’s time to get 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. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that might enhance your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to learn the ins and outs of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. So if you struggle somewhat initially, 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 contact your doctor. Your doctor can suggest one or more of the many methods to treat anxiety such as increased exercise or a lifestyle change.