Being in a persistent state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. It alerts us to peril, but for some, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. You may find yourself full of feelings of anxiety while performing everyday tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it typically would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.
And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms may become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some people start to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others battle against some degree of anxiety all their lives.
Hearing loss doesn’t surface suddenly, unlike other age related health problems, it progresses gradually and typically unnoticed until suddenly your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from being told you need glasses, but failing vision typically doesn’t cause the same degree of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can occur even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from depression or anxiety.
Hearing loss produces new concerns: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they aggravated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my children still call? These concerns intensify as anxiety takes hold, which is a common reaction, especially when everyday experiences become stressful. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or bigger gatherings, you may want to evaluate why. Your struggle to keep up with 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 grapple with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You aren’t the only person feeling like this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Around 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety disorder. Hearing loss, particularly when disregarded, increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. It may work the opposite way also. Some research has shown that anxiety increases your chances of suffering from hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to needlessly cope with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
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 put it off until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve observed a rapid change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids decrease anxiety by reducing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that could add to your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. Adapting to wearing hearing aids and learning 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 currently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are numerous methods to treat anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as additional exercise, to benefit your individual situation.