Anxiety is defined as a persistent state of alertness. It warns us of danger, but for some people, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you might be simmering with fear while making dinner or talking to a friend. Everything seems more daunting than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
For other individuals, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some may suffer from these feelings their whole lives, while other people might find that as their hearing gets worse, they start to feel heightened anxiety.
In contrast to some aging issues which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until all of a sudden your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for people who already struggle with depression or anxiety.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss creates new worries: Did I mishear that price? What if I say ‘huh?’ too many times? If I keep asking people to repeat what they said, will they begin to get annoyed with me? Will people stop calling me? These worries intensify as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, particularly when day-to-day experiences become stressful. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or larger gatherings, you might want to think about your reasoning. If you’re truthful with yourself, you may be turning down invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of straining to keep up with conversations. While this might help temporarily, over time, you will feel more isolated, which will result in increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Around 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Hearing loss, especially when ignored, increases the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent research. It could work the opposite way too. Some research has shown that anxiety increases your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many people continue to suffer from both needlessly.
Choices For Treatment
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in 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. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that might add to your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and get used to wearing them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them initially. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. There are many methods to manage anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to benefit your individual situation.