Being in a persistent state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. It alerts us to peril, but for some people, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential danger. You might find yourself full of feelings of dread while doing everyday tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.
For others, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms could become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some individuals start to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others battle against some levels of anxiety their whole lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear all of a sudden, unlike other age related health concerns, it advances gradually and frequently undetected until one day your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but failing vision typically doesn’t cause the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still happen. For individuals already faced with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
What Did You Say?
There are new worries with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they irritated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? When daily tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you might want to evaluate why. If you’re truthful with yourself, you may be declining invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of struggling to keep up with conversations. This reaction will ultimately lead to even more anxiety as you grapple with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also going through this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Approximately 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Recent studies show hearing loss raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when left untreated. It could work the opposite way too. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to unnecessarily deal with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
What Are The Treatment Options?
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off until your next check-up, especially if you’ve detected a sudden change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids decrease anxiety by reducing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
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 learn the basics of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. So if you struggle a little initially, be patient and try not to get frustrated. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the many methods to treat anxiety such as increased exercise or a lifestyle change.