Being in a constant state of heightened alertness is how anxiety is defined. Enhanced 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 filled with feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
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 people begin to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others battle against some degree of anxiety all their lives.
Compared to some aging challenges which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until one day your hearing specialist informs you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many people. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still occur. Hearing loss can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from depression or anxiety.
What Did You Say?
Hearing loss brings new worries: How much did you say that cost? What if I say ‘huh?’ too many times? If I continuously ask people to repeat what they said, will they begin to get aggravated with me? Will my kids still call? These fears escalate as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, especially when everyday activities become stressful. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of 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, over time, you will become more separated, which will result in additional anxiety.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling like this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Roughly 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety disorder. Recent studies show hearing loss increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when left untreated. It may work the opposite way also. According to some studies, anxiety will actually increase your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many people continue to cope with both needlessly.
Choices 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 procrastinate and if you observe 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 may increase somewhat as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adapting to wearing hearing aids and finding out all of the settings can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them at first. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Your doctor can suggest one or more of the many methods to manage anxiety such as more exercise or a change in lifestyle.