Being in a constant state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they aren’t in any danger. You might find yourself full of feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it normally 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 a few of the physical symptoms. Some may struggle with these feelings their whole lives, while other people might find as their hearing gets worse, they start to feel heightened anxiety.
Compared to some aging issues which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until all of a sudden your hearing specialist informs you that you need a hearing aid. This shouldn’t be any different from being told you need glasses, but hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t occur with deteriorating vision for many people. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for people who already struggle with anxiety or depression.
There are new concerns with hearing loss: 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 daily tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. Why are you declining invitations for dinner or steering clear of 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 in the short-term, over time, you will feel more separated, which will result in increased anxiety.
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, particularly when neglected, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety condition according to recent research. It could work the opposite way also. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to unnecessarily cope with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.
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 procrastinate and if you notice that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.
There is a learning curve with hearing aids that might enhance your anxiety if you aren’t prepared for it. Adjusting 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 currently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. There are numerous ways to manage anxiety, and your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to benefit your individual situation.