Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get trapped in a continual state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You could find yourself filled with feelings of anxiety while doing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
For others, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms could become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some might grapple with these feelings their whole lives, while other people may find that as their hearing gets worse, they begin to feel increased anxiety.
Compared to some aging challenges which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until one day your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like learning you need glasses, but hearing loss can trigger anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many people. It can happen even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. Hearing loss can make it even worse for individuals who already struggle with depression or anxiety.
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 my kids still call? These fears escalate as anxiety sets in, which is a normal reaction, especially when day-to-day experiences 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 declining invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. While this may help temporarily, over time, you will grow more isolated, which will result in increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling this way. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent research shows hearing loss raises the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when neglected. It may work the opposite way also. According to some studies, 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 producing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you find that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids reduce anxiety by preventing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety could increase a bit due to 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 using them. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them initially. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. There are many methods to deal with anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as additional exercise, to improve your individual situation.