Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. It alerts us to danger, but for some, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential danger. You may find yourself full of feelings of anxiety while doing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms could become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some might suffer from these feelings all of their lives, while other people might find as their hearing declines, they start to feel heightened anxiety.
In contrast to some aging issues which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until one day your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t trigger the same level 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 struggle with anxiety or depression.
Hearing loss produces new worries: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat what they said, will they start to get annoyed with me? Will my children still call? These concerns intensify as anxiety sets in, which is a normal reaction, especially when day-to-day experiences become stressful. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or larger get-togethers, you might want to evaluate your reasoning. If you’re honest with yourself, you may be declining invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of straining to hear conversations. While this could help in the short-term, over time, you will feel more isolated, which will result in increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling like this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety conditions are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when neglected, increases the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent studies. The correlation could go the other way too. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to needlessly deal with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.
Choices For Treatment
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you notice that your hearing has suddenly changed, come in as soon as you can. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety could increase a bit due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adjusting to using hearing aids and learning all of the configurations can take a couple of weeks. So if you struggle somewhat initially, be patient and try not to get frustrated. If you’re still having problems with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. There are many ways to treat anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to improve your individual situation.