Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You may find yourself full of feelings of anxiety while doing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
And anxiety, for others, can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some might struggle with these feelings all of their lives, while others may find as their hearing worsens, they start to feel increased anxiety.
Hearing loss doesn’t surface all of a sudden, unlike other age related health concerns, it progresses slowly and typically undetected until one day your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like finding out you need glasses, but failing vision typically doesn’t cause the same amount of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for people who already struggle with anxiety or depression.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss brings new worries: How much did you say that cost? What if I say ‘huh?’ too many times? Are they irritated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my children still call? When day-to-day tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? If you’re honest with yourself, you may be turning down invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of struggling to keep up with conversations. While this might help temporarily, in the long-term, you will become more separated, which will lead to increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
You aren’t the only person feeling like this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when disregarded, raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent research. It may work the opposite way too. Some studies have shown that anxiety raises your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many individuals continue to suffer from both needlessly.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
If hearing loss is causing you anxiety, it’s time to get 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. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety might increase somewhat due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adjusting to using hearing aids and learning all of the configurations can take a couple of weeks. So if you struggle a little at first, be patient and try not to get frustrated. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are numerous ways to treat anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to benefit your individual situation.