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

Being in a constant state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. It warns us of peril, but for some, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies react as if everything is a potential danger. You could find yourself filled with feelings of dread while doing everyday tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.

And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms could become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some individuals begin to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing declines while others struggle with some amount of anxiety their whole lives.

In contrast to some aging issues which come out of nowhere, 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 finding out you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t trigger the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can occur even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for people who already struggle with anxiety or depression.

What Did You Say?

There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they irritated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my children still call? These concerns escalate as anxiety takes hold, which is a common reaction, especially when daily activities become stressful. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or bigger get-togethers, you may want to assess why. If you’re truthful with yourself, you might be turning down invites as a way to escape the anxiety of struggling to hear conversations. This reaction will inevitably result in even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.

Am I Alone?

You aren’t the only person feeling this way. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Around 18% of the population struggles with an anxiety condition. Recent research shows hearing loss raises the likelihood of being diagnosed with anxiety, particularly when left untreated. The connection could go the other way also. Some research has shown that anxiety raises your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to unnecessarily cope with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.

Choices 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 find that your hearing has suddenly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids minimize anxiety by fighting miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.

There is a learning curve with hearing aids that may add to your anxiety if you aren’t ready for it. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. 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 contact your doctor. There are numerous ways to treat anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes like increased exercise, to improve your individual situation.

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