Being in a continual state of elevated alertness is how anxiety is defined. It alerts us to peril, but for some, anxiety becomes unregulated, 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 calling a friend. 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. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some may suffer from these feelings their whole lives, while other people might find as their hearing gets worse, they start to feel increased anxiety.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear suddenly, unlike other age related health problems, it advances gradually and frequently undetected until one day your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to learning you need glasses, but failing vision typically doesn’t trigger the same amount of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can occur even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. For people already faced with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
What Did You Say?
There are new concerns 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 my children still call? When daily activities become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a normal reaction. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you might want to assess why. Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. This reaction will eventually lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You aren’t the only person feeling this way. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Anxiety conditions are an issue for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, particularly when disregarded, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent studies. It could work the opposite way also. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to needlessly deal with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
If hearing loss is producing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you observe that your hearing has suddenly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids minimize 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 get used to wearing them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them initially. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. There are numerous ways to treat anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to benefit your individual situation.