Anxiety is defined as a persistent state of alertness. It warns us of peril, but for some people, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential threat. You could find yourself filled with feelings of anxiety while performing everyday tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
For other individuals, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some might struggle with these feelings their whole lives, while other people might find that as their hearing worsens, they start to feel increased anxiety.
In contrast to some aging challenges which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until one day your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to finding out you need glasses, but failing vision often doesn’t trigger the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can occur even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. For those already dealing with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
What Did You Say?
There are new concerns with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? What if I say ‘huh?’ too many times? If I keep asking people to repeat themselves, will they begin to get aggravated with me? Will people stop calling me? These concerns escalate as anxiety takes hold, which is a normal reaction, particularly when everyday activities become stressful. Why are you turning down invitations for dinner or staying away from gatherings? Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. While this might help temporarily, in the long-term, you will feel more isolated, which will result in additional anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. About 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Hearing loss, particularly when neglected, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent studies. The connection may go the other way as well. According to some research, anxiety will actually increase your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many people continue to cope with both needlessly.
Choices For Treatment
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 suddenly changed, come in as soon as you can. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing mis-communication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety might increase somewhat as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adapting to wearing hearing aids and learning all of the configurations can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them at first. 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. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the numerous methods to treat anxiety such as increased exercise or a change in lifestyle.