Being in a continual state of elevated alertness is how anxiety is defined. Elevated alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some people get stuck in a continual state of alertness even when they’re not in any peril. You could find yourself full of feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
For other individuals, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms could become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some people start to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others battle against some degree of anxiety their whole lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t emerge all of a sudden, unlike other age related health problems, it advances slowly and frequently unnoticed until one day 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 level of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can happen even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. For people already struggling with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
Hearing loss brings new concerns: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they aggravated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my children still call? These worries escalate as anxiety takes hold, which is a common reaction, especially when everyday experiences become stressful. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? Your struggle to hear and understand 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 feel more isolated, which will result in additional anxiety.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Anxiety conditions are an issue for 18% of the population. Recent studies show hearing loss increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when left untreated. The connection could go the other way as well. According to some studies, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many individuals continue to suffer from both needlessly.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
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 notice that your hearing has suddenly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids reduce anxiety by reducing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that may enhance your anxiety if you aren’t ready for it. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and get used to wearing them. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them at first. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are numerous ways to deal with anxiety, and your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes such as additional exercise, to benefit your individual situation.