Being in a persistent state of elevated alertness is how anxiety is defined. Elevated alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some individuals get stuck in a continual state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You might find yourself full of feelings of anxiety while doing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle, 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 nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some people start to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others battle against some degree of anxiety their whole lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t surface all of a sudden, unlike other age related health issues, it advances slowly and frequently undetected until one day your hearing specialist informs you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from being told you need glasses, but hearing loss can cause anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many people. It can happen even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. Hearing loss can make it even worse for people who already suffer from anxiety or depression.
There are new concerns with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they aggravated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my children still call? These worries intensify as anxiety sets in, which is a normal reaction, particularly when daily activities become stressful. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or bigger gatherings, you might want to assess your reasoning. Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. While this might help in the short-term, over time, you will grow more separated, which will result in additional anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Anxiety disorders are an issue for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when disregarded, raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent studies. It may work the opposite way too. According to some studies, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to unnecessarily cope with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is producing 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 fighting miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
At first your anxiety may increase a little as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and get used to using them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them initially. 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 strategies to manage anxiety such as increased exercise or a lifestyle change.