Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. It warns us of peril, but for some people, anxiety goes out of control, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential threat. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you might be simmering with dread while cooking dinner or calling a friend. Everything seems more overwhelming than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
For other people, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some individuals begin to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others struggle with some levels of anxiety their whole lives.
Compared to some aging challenges which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until all of a sudden your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to learning you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t trigger the same degree of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can happen even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. Hearing loss can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from anxiety or depression.
There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? If I continuously ask people to repeat what they said, will they start to get aggravated with me? Will my kids still call? These fears escalate as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, particularly when daily experiences become stressful. 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. While this could help in the short-term, over time, you will become more separated, which will result in increased anxiety.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling like this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Anxiety conditions are an issue for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when neglected, increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent research. The correlation may go the other way as well. Some studies have shown that anxiety increases your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many individuals continue to suffer from both unnecessarily.
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 noticed a sudden change in your hearing. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety may increase a bit due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adjusting to using hearing aids and finding out all of the configurations can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them at first. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. There are numerous ways to manage anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to benefit your individual situation.