Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

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

Being in a persistent state of heightened alertness is how anxiety is defined. It warns us of danger, but for some, anxiety becomes unregulated, and their bodies respond as if everything is a potential danger. Instead of feeling anxious before a big job interview, you may be simmering with fear while cooking dinner or talking to a friend. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional battle, and everything seems more daunting than it should.

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

Compared to some aging issues which appear suddenly, hearing loss tends to creep up on you until all of a sudden 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 often doesn’t cause the same amount of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still occur. Hearing loss can make it even worse for people who already struggle with anxiety or depression.

What Did You Say?

There are new worries with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? What if I keep saying “huh”? Are they annoyed at me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? When day-to-day activities become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a common response. Why are you turning down invitations for dinner or staying away from gatherings? Your struggle to keep up with conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being honest with yourself. While this might help in the short-term, over time, you will become more isolated, which will lead to increased anxiety.

Am I Alone?

Others are also going through this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Anxiety conditions are a problem for 18% of the population. Recent research shows hearing loss raises the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when neglected. The connection could go the other way too. Some studies have shown that anxiety raises your chances of developing hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to unnecessarily cope with both of these conditions considering how manageable they are.

Choices For Treatment

If hearing loss is causing anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t procrastinate and if you observe that your hearing has suddenly changed, come in as soon as you can. For many, hearing aids minimize anxiety by fighting miscommunications and embarrassment in social situations.

At first your anxiety may increase a little due to the learning curve that comes with hearing aids. It can take weeks to learn the basics of hearing aids and adjust to wearing 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 manage anxiety, and your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes such as increased exercise, to improve 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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