Hearing Impairment Often Causes Anxiety


Being in a continued state of heightened alertness is the definition of anxiety. Enhanced alertness is a good thing when there’s a threat but some people get trapped in a continuous state of alertness even when they’re not in any danger. You might find yourself filled with feelings of dread while performing everyday tasks. Your day-to-day life becomes an emotional conflict, and everything seems more overwhelming than it should.

For other individuals, anxiety can take more than an emotional toll – the symptoms could become physical. Insomnia, dizziness, nausea, and heart palpitations are a few of the physical symptoms. Some might grapple with these feelings all of their lives, while other people may find that as their hearing gets worse, they start to feel heightened anxiety.

Hearing loss doesn’t appear all of a sudden, unlike other age related health challenges, it progresses slowly and often unnoticed until one day your hearing professional informs you that you need a hearing aid. This should be a lot like finding out you need glasses, but failing vision typically doesn’t trigger the same degree of anxiety that hearing loss does. Even if you’ve never had severe anxiety this can still occur. For those already faced with depression or anxiety, hearing loss can amplify it.

What’s That?

There are new worries with hearing loss: Did I mishear that price? How many times can I say “huh”? Are they irritated with me for asking them to repeat themselves? Will people stop calling me? When daily activities become stressful, anxiety intensifies and this is a common response. If you’ve stopped invitations to dinner or larger get-togethers, you might want to evaluate your reasoning. Your struggle to hear and understand conversations could be the reason why you keep turning down invitations if you’re being truthful with yourself. This reaction will inevitably lead to even more anxiety as you cope with the consequences of self isolation.

Am I Alone?

Others are also experiencing this. Anxiety is increasingly common. Roughly 18% of the population copes with an anxiety condition. Recent research shows hearing loss increases the chance of being diagnosed with anxiety, especially when neglected. The connection may go the other way too. Some research has shown that anxiety increases your chances of suffering from hearing loss. It’s unfortunate that people continue to needlessly cope with both of these conditions considering how treatable they are.

What Are The Treatment Choices?

If hearing loss is causing you anxiety, it’s time to get fitted for a hearing aid. Don’t put it off until your next check-up, especially if you’ve observed a sudden change in your hearing. For many, hearing aids reduce anxiety by fighting 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. Adapting to using hearing aids and learning all of the configurations can take a couple of weeks. So, don’t get frustrated if you struggle with them at first. If you’re currently wearing hearing aids and still find yourself struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor. There are numerous methods to deal with anxiety, and your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes such as 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.