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

Anxiety is defined as a continual state of alertness. It warns us of danger, but for some people, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you may be simmering with dread while making dinner or talking to a friend. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.

And anxiety, for others, can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. These symptoms include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and heart palpitations. Some may grapple with these feelings their whole lives, while other people might find that as their hearing gets worse, they start to feel increased anxiety.

Unlike 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 shouldn’t be any different from finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can trigger anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. 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 anxiety or depression.

What Did You Say?

Hearing loss brings new concerns: How much did you say that cost? How many times can I say “huh”? If I continuously ask people to repeat themselves, will they begin to get annoyed with me? Will people stop calling me? These worries intensify as anxiety takes hold, which is a common reaction, particularly when daily activities become stressful. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or larger gatherings, you might want to think about your reasoning. If you’re honest with yourself, you may be turning down invites as a way to avoid the anxiety of straining to keep up with conversations. This response will eventually produce 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. Anxiety conditions are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent studies show hearing loss increases the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when neglected. It may work the opposite way too. Some research has shown that anxiety raises your chances of suffering from hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to unnecessarily deal with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.

Choices For Treatment

If hearing loss is causing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, especially if you’ve noticed a rapid change in your hearing. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.

At first your anxiety could increase somewhat as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adjusting to using hearing aids and finding out 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 seem to be struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are many methods to treat anxiety, and your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes such as additional exercise, to benefit 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.