Hearing Impairment Often Causes Anxiety

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

Anxiety is defined as a constant state of alertness. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some people get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they aren’t in any peril. You may find yourself full of feelings of dread while performing everyday tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more daunting than it should.

For others, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms may become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some people start to feel a growing sense of anxiety as their hearing worsens while others battle against some degree of anxiety their whole lives.

Unlike 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 should be similar to finding out you need glasses, but hearing loss can create anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. It can happen even if you’ve never experienced serious anxiety before. Hearing loss can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from depression or anxiety.

What Did You Say?

Hearing loss creates new worries: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? These concerns escalate as anxiety sets in, which is a common reaction, particularly when everyday experiences become stressful. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or bigger gatherings, you may want to assess your reasoning. Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. While this may help in the short-term, over time, you will grow more separated, which will lead to increased anxiety.

Am I Alone?

Others are also going through this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety conditions are an issue for 18% of the population. Recent studies show hearing loss raises the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when left untreated. The connection could go the other way as well. According to some research, anxiety will actually raise your chances of getting hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to needlessly deal with both of these conditions considering how manageable 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 procrastinate and if you observe that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids decrease anxiety by reducing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.

At first your anxiety could increase a little as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adjusting to wearing hearing aids and learning all of the settings can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them initially. If you’re presently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself coping with anxiety, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. There are numerous methods to treat anxiety, and your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes like increased exercise, to benefit your individual situation.

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.