Hearing Health Blog

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

Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. Heightened alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some individuals get trapped in a continuous state of alertness even when they aren’t in any peril. You may find yourself filled with feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Everything seems more daunting than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.

For other individuals, anxiety can have more than an emotional impact – the symptoms could become physical. These symptoms include dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations. Some individuals begin to feel an increasing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others battle against some levels of anxiety all their lives.

Compared to some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to sneak up on you until all of a sudden your hearing specialist tells 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. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still happen. Hearing loss can make it even worse for people who already suffer from anxiety or depression.

What’s That?

There are new worries 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 my kids still call? These worries intensify as anxiety sets in, which is a normal reaction, especially when daily experiences become stressful. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or larger gatherings, you might want to think about why. Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. This response will ultimately result in even more anxiety as you grapple with the repercussions of self isolation.

Am I Alone?

Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is becoming more and more common. Anxiety conditions are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, especially when neglected, raises the probability of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent research. The connection may go the other way as well. Some studies have shown that anxiety increases your chances of developing hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many individuals continue to cope with both unnecessarily.

What Are The Treatment Choices?

If hearing loss is causing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t wait until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve observed a rapid change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids reduce 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 prepared for it. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and adjust to wearing them. So if you struggle a little initially, be patient and try not to be discouraged. 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 numerous methods to manage anxiety, and your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes such as increased 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.
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