Being in a constant state of elevated alertness is the definition of anxiety. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some individuals get trapped in a continual state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You might find yourself full of feelings of dread while performing everyday tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it typically would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.
For others, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some people start to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others struggle with some levels of anxiety their whole lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t surface all of a sudden, unlike other age related health issues, it advances slowly and frequently undetected until suddenly your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many people. It can occur even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already struggle with anxiety or depression.
There are new worries with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? These fears intensify as anxiety takes hold, which is a common reaction, particularly when everyday activities become stressful. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. While this could help in the short-term, in the long-term, you will become more isolated, which will result in increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Around 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Hearing loss, particularly when ignored, increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent studies. It may work the opposite way also. Some research has shown that anxiety increases your chances of suffering from hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to unnecessarily 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 make an appointment to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off until your next check-up, especially if you’ve noticed a rapid 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 enhance your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to determine the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to using them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them initially. 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 deal with anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to improve your individual situation.