Being in a continual state of elevated alertness is how anxiety is defined. 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. You may find yourself full of feelings of dread while doing everyday tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.
And anxiety, for others, can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some individuals start to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others battle against some amount of anxiety all their lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t appear suddenly, unlike other age related health problems, it advances slowly and often unnoticed until one day your hearing specialist informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like finding out you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t trigger the same amount of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still happen. For those already struggling 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? How many times can I say “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 gatherings, you might want to assess your reasoning. Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. This reaction will eventually lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. 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 correlation could go the other way also. According to some studies, anxiety will actually increase your chances of getting hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to unnecessarily deal with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.
Options For Treatment
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should make an appointment to be 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 prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety may increase somewhat as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them initially. If you’re still having troubles with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. There are numerous methods to manage anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to improve your individual situation.