Hearing Loss Frequently Causes Anxiety

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 danger but some people get trapped in a continuous state of alertness even when they’re not in any peril. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you may be simmering with fear while making dinner or calling a friend. Everything seems more overwhelming than it normally would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle.

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

Hearing loss doesn’t surface suddenly, unlike other age related health issues, it advances gradually and often unnoticed 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 cause anxiety that doesn’t arise with deteriorating vision for many individuals. Even if you’ve never dealt with severe anxiety this can still occur. Hearing impairment can make it even worse for individuals who already suffer from depression or anxiety.

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 aggravated with me? Will my children still call? When day-to-day tasks become stressful, anxiety escalates and this is a common response. Why are you turning down invitations for dinner or staying away from gatherings? If you’re honest with yourself, you may be declining invites as a way to escape the anxiety of struggling to hear conversations. While this might help temporarily, over time, you will grow more isolated, which will result in increased anxiety.

Am I Alone?

Others are also experiencing this. It’s increasingly common for people to be dealing with anxiety. Anxiety conditions are a problem for 18% of the population. Hearing loss, particularly when disregarded, raises the chance of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder according to recent studies. It could work the opposite way also. Some studies have shown that anxiety increases your chances of suffering from hearing loss. Considering how treatable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s unfortunate so many people continue to deal with both unnecessarily.

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 observe that your hearing has abruptly changed, come in as soon as you can. Hearing aids prevent embarrassment in social situations by preventing miscommunication which reduces anxiety.

At first your anxiety may increase a bit as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the ins and outs of hearing aids and adjust to using them. So, don’t get discouraged if you struggle with them initially. If you’re still having issues with anxiety after you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. There are numerous ways to deal with anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes like additional 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.