Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. Heightened 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 peril. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you might be simmering with dread while cooking dinner or calling a friend. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
And anxiety, for others, can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some people begin to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others battle against some degree of anxiety all their lives.
Compared to some aging issues which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until one day your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can trigger anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many individuals. It can happen even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. For people already struggling with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
Hearing loss brings new worries: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat what they said, will they start to get annoyed with me? Will my kids still call? When day-to-day tasks become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a normal reaction. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you might want to assess why. Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. While this may help in the short-term, over time, you will grow more separated, which will lead to increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. About 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety disorder. Recent research shows hearing loss raises the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when neglected. It may work the opposite way too. Some research has shown that anxiety raises your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to unnecessarily deal with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
Choices For Treatment
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should make an appointment to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you observe that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids minimize anxiety by fighting miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety may increase somewhat as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to determine the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to using them. So if you struggle somewhat initially, be patient and try not to get frustrated. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the many methods to manage anxiety such as increased exercise or a change in lifestyle.