Being in a continual state of elevated alertness is how anxiety is defined. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they aren’t in any danger. You may find yourself full of feelings of dread while doing everyday tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms may become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some might suffer from these feelings all of their lives, while others may find that as their hearing worsens, they start to feel heightened anxiety.
Unlike some aging challenges which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until all of a sudden your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but failing vision often doesn’t cause the same amount of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still occur. For those already dealing with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can amplify it.
There are new worries with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? What if I say ‘huh?’ too many times? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my kids still call? These worries intensify as anxiety takes hold, which is a normal reaction, especially when everyday experiences become stressful. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you may want to think about your reasoning. Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. This response will eventually lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You aren’t the only person feeling like this. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. Roughly 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety disorder. Hearing loss, especially when neglected, raises the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent studies. The correlation could go the other way also. According to some research, anxiety will actually increase your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to needlessly cope with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
Options For Treatment
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, especially if you’ve detected a rapid change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids minimize anxiety by fighting miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that could enhance your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. Adapting to using hearing aids and learning all of the configurations can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them at first. If you’re still having issues with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to call your doctor. There are numerous ways to treat anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to benefit your individual situation.