Anxiety is defined as a persistent state of alertness. Elevated alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get trapped in a constant state of alertness even when they aren’t in any danger. You may find yourself filled with feelings of anxiety while performing daily tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it typically would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
And anxiety, for others, can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some might grapple with these feelings their whole lives, while others might find that as their hearing declines, they start to feel heightened anxiety.
In contrast to some aging challenges which appear suddenly, 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 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 dealing with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
What Did You Say?
There are new worries with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my kids still call? These fears intensify as anxiety takes hold, which is a normal reaction, particularly when day-to-day activities become stressful. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or larger get-togethers, you might want to evaluate why. If you’re honest with yourself, you might be turning down invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of struggling to hear conversations. This reaction will ultimately produce even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. Around 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety disorder. Hearing loss, particularly when disregarded, raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent research. The connection could go the other way too. According to some studies, anxiety will actually increase your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to unnecessarily cope with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If hearing loss is causing you anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve detected 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 could add to your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to learn the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to using them. So if you struggle a little at first, be patient and try not to be frustrated. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are numerous methods to deal with anxiety, and your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes like increased exercise, to improve your individual situation.