Being in a constant state of heightened alertness is how anxiety is defined. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some individuals get stuck in a continuous state of alertness even when they aren’t in any danger. You could find yourself filled with feelings of anxiety while performing daily tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.
And anxiety, for others, can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some might grapple with these feelings all of their lives, while others might find that as their hearing worsens, they begin to feel heightened anxiety.
Compared to some aging challenges which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until one day your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be similar to finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many individuals. 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 anxiety or depression.
Hearing loss produces new concerns: How much did you say that cost? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? When everyday tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or larger 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 truthful with yourself. This response will eventually result in even more anxiety as you grapple with the consequences of self isolation.
Am I Alone?
You’re not the only person feeling like this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Anxiety disorders are an issue for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, particularly when neglected, increases the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. The correlation could go the other way also. According to some studies, anxiety will actually increase your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many people continue to suffer from both needlessly.
Options For Treatment
If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve noticed a rapid change in your hearing. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
At first your anxiety could increase a little as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adjusting to wearing hearing aids and finding out all of the configurations 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 seem to be struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. There are numerous methods to deal with anxiety, and your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes such as additional exercise, to improve your individual situation.