Man feeling anxious because he can’t hear the conversation.

Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some people get trapped in a continuous state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You might find yourself filled with feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it typically would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.

For other individuals, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms may become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some might struggle with these feelings their whole lives, while other people may find that as their hearing worsens, they start to feel heightened anxiety.

Hearing loss doesn’t surface all of a sudden, unlike other age related health problems, it progresses gradually and typically undetected until one day 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 cause anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many people. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for people who already struggle with depression or anxiety.

What Did You Say?

Hearing loss produces new concerns: 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? These worries intensify as anxiety takes hold, which is a common reaction, particularly when daily activities become stressful. Why are you turning down 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 feel more separated, which will lead to increased anxiety.

Am I Alone?

Others are also going through this. It’s increasingly common for people to have anxiety. Roughly 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Recent studies show hearing loss increases the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when neglected. The correlation could go the other way too. Some research has shown that anxiety increases your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s regrettable that people continue to unnecessarily cope with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.

What Are The Treatment Choices?

If your anxiety is a result of hearing loss you should come in to be fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off until your next check-up, especially if you’ve noticed a sudden change in your hearing. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.

There is a learning curve with hearing aids that may enhance your anxiety if you aren’t ready for it. Adapting to using hearing aids and finding out all of the settings can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them at first. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still seem to be coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. There are many ways to manage anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to improve your individual situation.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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