Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some people get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. 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 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 could become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some might struggle with these feelings all of their lives, while others might find as their hearing gets worse, they begin to feel increased anxiety.
Unlike some aging issues which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until all of a sudden your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like learning you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t cause the same amount 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 depression or anxiety.
What Did You Say?
There are new concerns with hearing loss: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? If I keep asking people to repeat themselves, will they begin to get aggravated with me? Will my children still call? These concerns escalate as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, particularly when day-to-day experiences become stressful. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or staying away from gatherings? Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. While this may help temporarily, over time, you will grow more separated, which will result in additional anxiety.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling like this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. About 18% of the population copes with an anxiety disorder. Hearing loss, particularly when neglected, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent studies. The connection 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 suffer from both unnecessarily.
Choices For Treatment
If hearing loss is producing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve noticed a rapid change in your hearing. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing mis-communication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety might increase a little due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adapting to using hearing aids and learning all of the configurations can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them initially. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are numerous ways to deal with anxiety, and your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to improve your individual situation.