Hearing Loss Frequently Causes Anxiety

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

Being in a continual state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. It warns us of peril, but for some people, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential threat. You might find yourself filled with feelings of dread while doing daily tasks. Everything seems more overwhelming than it usually would and day-to-day life becomes an emotional struggle.

And anxiety, for others, can become more than an emotional issue – the symptoms may become physical. Dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and heart palpitations are some of the physical symptoms. Some people begin 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 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 being told you need glasses, but failing vision usually doesn’t cause the same degree of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still happen. For individuals already dealing with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can make it seem even worse.

What’s That?

There are new concerns with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they aggravated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will my kids still call? These worries intensify as anxiety takes hold, which is a normal reaction, especially when daily experiences become stressful. If you no longer accept invitations to dinner or larger gatherings, you may want to think about why. Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep declining invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. This response will inevitably lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the repercussions of self isolation.

Am I Alone?

You aren’t the only person feeling this way. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety disorders are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent research shows hearing loss raises the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when neglected. It could work the opposite way too. Some studies have shown that anxiety increases your chances of suffering from hearing loss. Considering how manageable anxiety and hearing loss are, it’s a shame so many individuals continue to deal with both needlessly.

What Are The Treatment Options?

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, especially if you’ve noticed a sudden change in your hearing. Hearing aids minimize embarrassment in social situations by preventing mis-communication which reduces anxiety.

At first your anxiety might increase a little as a result of the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. Adapting to wearing hearing aids and learning all of the configurations 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 seem to be struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. There are numerous ways to treat anxiety, and your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes like additional exercise, to improve 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.