Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. It alerts us to peril, but for some people, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you may be simmering with dread while making dinner or calling a friend. Everything seems more daunting than it normally would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.

And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some might struggle with these feelings their whole lives, while other people might find as their hearing worsens, they start to feel heightened anxiety.

Hearing loss doesn’t appear suddenly, unlike other age related health concerns, it progresses slowly and typically unnoticed until suddenly your hearing specialist tells 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 amount of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still occur. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from depression or anxiety.

What Did You Say?

There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? What if I keep saying “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat what they said, will they begin to get annoyed with me? Will my children still call? These worries escalate as anxiety takes hold, which is a normal reaction, particularly when daily experiences become stressful. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or larger gatherings, you might want to assess why. Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. This response will inevitably lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.

Am I Alone?

You’re not the only person feeling like this. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, particularly when disregarded, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent studies. The correlation may go the other way also. Some research has shown that anxiety raises your chances of suffering from hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many people continue to deal with both unnecessarily.

Choices 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 procrastinate and if you observe that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.

At first your anxiety might increase somewhat as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn 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 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. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the many methods to manage anxiety like more exercise or a lifestyle change.

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