If you’ve recently been informed that you have hearing loss - or if your hearing loss has deteriorated - you might be feeling anxious.
Anxiety is an unrelenting and intense state of alertness. It’s normal to feel anxious when you encounter stressful situations but in some cases, it becomes unmanageable to the point where it’s a disorder that needs professional help.
Hearing loss may induce or worsen feelings of anxiousness, but the connection between these two symptoms has not been fully researched. Anxiety and overthinking things may not always focus on hearing, but that can sometimes make its way into the thoughts that a person is having.
The Worries that may come with Hearing Loss
Once hearing loss gets worse and you actually worry about it, some thoughts could come to mind:
Anxiety in Physical Form
Physical symptoms can be triggered as a result of anxiety. This includes:
You might feel more vulnerable because you can’t hear or think you’re hearing other sounds. If these thoughts and physical sensations continue, interrupt your daily life, and your quality of life, you should probably see a professional to treat your hearing loss and another professional to treat your anxiety.
Where is the Anxiety coming From?
Anxiety can be designated into five categories: obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). If you suffered a head injury, you may experience hearing loss and symptoms of PTSD.
Patients with hearing loss may also have symptoms of tinnitus or vertigo, which can also induce anxiety.
Do You Have Social Anxiety or are You feeling Discouraged from the Inability to Hear?
Presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), occurs gradually over time. You may subconsciously experience presbycusis but insist that it’s for another reason besides hearing loss.
Sadness and loneliness can slowly increase as well, and lead to anxiety.
Those who have social anxiety are fearful of situations where they feel judged.
Hearing loss can be frustrating, not just for the person with hearing loss, but also for people with whom you are communicating. Not being able to hear clearly can lead you to miss the social cues that indicate when someone is going to talk or has not finished talking. Faking the ability to hear is common for someone with hearing loss. Maybe you missed a joke or an important medical recommendation. Hearing loss can make you feel out of place or lead to other serious health issues.
It's important to find a way to manage anxiety in a way that works for you. Here are some suggestions that you can try out.
New Means of Communication
If you have trouble in crowded social gatherings, take the person or people that you want to talk to into a quiet space. You can even use talk-to-text apps, which transcribe what people are saying.
Hearing aids can be helpful, but it’s important to remember that adapting to the hearing aids takes time, and hearing aids only help keep the hearing that you still have and slows down loss.
If you or a loved one are tired of feeling anxiety and loneliness due to hearing loss, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.