Being in a persistent state of elevated alertness is how anxiety is defined. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some people get trapped in a constant state of alertness even when they aren’t in any peril. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you might be simmering with dread while making dinner or talking to a friend. 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 individuals begin to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others struggle with some degree of anxiety their whole lives.
In contrast to some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until all of a sudden your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to learning you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t cause the same amount of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can occur even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from anxiety or depression.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss produces new worries: How much did you say that cost? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they irritated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my children still call? These fears intensify as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, particularly when daily experiences become stressful. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you may want to assess your reasoning. If you’re truthful with yourself, you may be declining invites as a way to escape the anxiety of straining to keep up with conversations. This reaction will ultimately lead to even more anxiety as you grapple with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You aren’t the only person feeling like this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Roughly 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety disorder. Hearing loss, particularly when ignored, increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. It could work the opposite way also. Some studies have shown that anxiety increases your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many individuals continue to deal with both needlessly.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If hearing loss is causing anxiety, it’s time to get 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 could add to your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. It can take weeks to learn the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to using them. So if you struggle a little at first, be patient and try not to be discouraged. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. There are numerous ways to manage anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to improve your individual situation.