Being in a persistent state of elevated alertness is the definition of anxiety. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some individuals get stuck in a continuous state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You may find yourself filled with feelings of dread while doing everyday tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it normally would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.
And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some people start to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others struggle with some amount of anxiety all their lives.
Unlike some aging challenges which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until one day 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 create anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many people. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still occur. For those already dealing with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
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 people stop calling me? These fears escalate as anxiety takes hold, which is a normal reaction, especially when day-to-day experiences become stressful. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or bigger gatherings, you might want to assess your reasoning. If you’re truthful with yourself, you may be declining invites as a way to escape the anxiety of struggling to keep up with conversations. This response will eventually lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Anxiety conditions are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent studies show hearing loss raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when neglected. The correlation may go the other way as well. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many people continue to suffer from both needlessly.
Options 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 put it off until your next check-up, especially if you’ve observed a rapid change in your hearing. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety might increase a little as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to determine the basics of hearing aids and get used to wearing them. So if you struggle somewhat at first, be patient and try not to get discouraged. If you’re still having troubles with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to call your doctor. There are numerous methods to manage anxiety, and your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes such as additional exercise, to improve your individual situation.