Hearing Impairment Frequently Causes Anxiety

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

Being in a constant state of heightened alertness is how anxiety is defined. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s danger but some individuals get stuck in a constant state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You might find yourself filled with feelings of anxiety while doing daily tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it normally would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.

And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, 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 levels of anxiety all their lives.

Unlike some aging issues which come out of nowhere, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until all of a sudden your hearing specialist tells you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like finding out you need glasses, but failing vision often doesn’t trigger the same level of anxiety that hearing loss does. It can happen even if you’ve never suffered from serious anxiety before. For people already faced with anxiety or depression, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.

What Did You Say?

There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? What if I say ‘huh?’ too many times? If I keep asking people to repeat what they said, will they start to get aggravated with me? Will my kids still call? When daily tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common reaction. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or larger gatherings, you might want to assess why. Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. This reaction will eventually result in even more anxiety as you cope with the repercussions of self isolation.

Am I Alone?

Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent research shows hearing loss increases the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when neglected. It could work the opposite way also. According to some studies, anxiety will actually increase your chances of getting hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many individuals continue to cope with both needlessly.

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 wait until your next check-up, particularly if you’ve detected a rapid change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids decrease anxiety by preventing miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.

At first your anxiety might increase a bit as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to determine the basics of hearing aids and adjust to using them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them initially. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor. There are many methods to deal with anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes such as 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.