Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. It warns us of danger, but for some people, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you could be simmering with dread while cooking dinner or talking to a friend. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
For other people, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some people start to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others struggle with some amount of anxiety all their lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t surface all of a sudden, unlike other age related health concerns, it progresses gradually and typically undetected until suddenly your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from being told you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t trigger the same degree of anxiety that hearing loss does. 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.
Hearing loss creates new worries: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my kids still call? When day-to-day activities become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common reaction. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or larger gatherings, you might want to assess your reasoning. Your struggle to hear and understand 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 isolated, 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. Anxiety disorders are an issue for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when neglected, raises the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent studies. It may work the opposite way too. According to some studies, anxiety will actually raise your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many individuals continue to deal with both unnecessarily.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is causing you 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 rapid change in your hearing. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that might add to your anxiety if you aren’t ready for it. It can take weeks to determine the ins and outs of hearing aids and get used to using them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them initially. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the many methods to manage anxiety such as more exercise or a lifestyle change.