Being in a persistent state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some people get trapped in a continual state of alertness even when they aren’t in any peril. You might find yourself filled with feelings of anxiety while performing everyday tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it normally 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. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some might grapple with these feelings their whole lives, while other people may find as their hearing declines, they start to feel increased anxiety.
Hearing loss doesn’t surface suddenly, unlike other age related health problems, it progresses gradually and frequently undetected until suddenly your hearing professional tells you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but failing vision often doesn’t cause the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing loss can make it even worse for people who already suffer from anxiety or depression.
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 annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my children still call? When daily tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you might 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 truthful with yourself. This response will ultimately lead to even more anxiety as you grapple 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 be dealing with anxiety. Anxiety conditions are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent research shows hearing loss raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when neglected. The connection may go the other way too. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to unnecessarily cope with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is causing you anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you notice that your hearing has suddenly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids minimize anxiety by preventing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that could add to your anxiety if you aren’t ready for it. Adjusting to wearing hearing aids and finding out all of the settings can take a couple of weeks. So if you struggle somewhat at first, be patient and try not to get discouraged. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. Your doctor can recommend one or more of the many methods to treat anxiety such as increased exercise or a lifestyle change.