Being in a persistent state of elevated alertness is how anxiety is defined. It alerts us to peril, but for some people, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential threat. You could find yourself filled with feelings of dread while doing everyday tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it typically would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
For others, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some might grapple with these feelings all of their lives, while other people may find as their hearing worsens, they begin to feel heightened anxiety.
Unlike some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until all of a sudden your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from being told you need glasses, but hearing loss can trigger anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. It can happen even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. Hearing loss can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from depression or anxiety.
What Did You Say?
There are new worries with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my kids still call? When everyday tasks become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a normal response. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you might want to think about why. Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. This reaction will eventually lead to even more anxiety as you grapple 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. Approximately 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety disorder. Hearing loss, especially when disregarded, raises the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent studies. The correlation may go the other way too. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to unnecessarily cope with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
If hearing loss is causing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve detected a sudden change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids minimize anxiety by reducing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety may increase somewhat as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to wearing them. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them initially. If you’re still having problems with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to call your doctor. Your doctor can suggest one or more of the numerous methods to treat anxiety such as increased exercise or a lifestyle change.