Being in a constant state of elevated alertness is how anxiety is defined. It warns us of peril, but for some, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you could be simmering with dread while making dinner or calling a friend. Everything seems more overwhelming than it typically would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
For other people, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some might grapple with these feelings all of their lives, while others may find that as their hearing worsens, they start to feel heightened anxiety.
In contrast to some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until one day your hearing specialist 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 level of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still occur. For people already dealing with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.
Hearing loss produces new concerns: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they aggravated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? When day-to-day tasks become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a common reaction. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of gatherings? If you’re honest with yourself, you might be turning down invites as a way to escape the anxiety of straining to keep up with conversations. This response will eventually result in even more anxiety as you grapple with the repercussions of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You’re not 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, especially when neglected, raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent research. It could work the opposite way also. Some studies have shown that anxiety raises your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to needlessly cope with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.
What Are The Treatment Choices?
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, particularly if you’ve noticed a sudden change in your hearing. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety could increase a bit as a result of 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 initially. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the numerous methods to manage anxiety such as increased exercise or a lifestyle change.