Anxiety, Depression and Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can have a significant effect on your life and daily wellbeing. Naturally, losing the ability to hear properly will make life more challenging. It’s harder for you to talk to people, harder for you to go outside and do normal things and it’s difficult to come to terms with this new way of life.
Furthermore, there are strong links between hearing loss and a decline in your mental wellbeing. More accurately, individuals with hearing loss are more likely to have some form of depression and anxiety.
Hearing Loss and Anxiety
Many people have anxiety when they experience hearing loss. Why does this tend to happen, and why is it so common? Effectively, you have to look at how hearing loss impacts your social life. If you struggle to hear, you naturally start to become more anxious in certain situations.
For example, something simple like going to the shops becomes a big mental battle. You’re worried about not being able to hear someone that’s talking to you, and you’re worried about asking someone in the store for help in case you can’t hear what they’re saying.
Not only that but you can get stressed because of your hearing loss. You wake up and worry that things are getting worse, which adds to the anxiety and makes you want to avoid social situations. Tinnitus is a symptom of hearing loss that makes you hear a persistent ringing in your ears.
Walking around or trying to sleep with this ringing inside you can be highly stressful. As a result, it adds to your anxiety as it’s all you can think about. You’re constantly hearing this ringing, and it plays on your mind all day long.
Moreover, there are suggestions that people feel anxious because they worry about what others are saying about them. It’s a type of paranoia – you can hear noises coming from people’s mouths, you might see them looking at you but you don’t know what they’re saying. Your brain makes you think they’re talking about you, which makes your anxiety go through the roof.
Hearing Loss and Depression
Depression is usually a consequence of extreme anxiety and stress. Therefore, individuals that experience anxiety through hearing loss are likely to end up feeling depressed as well. You only have to look at some of the points above to see how closely connected things are.
Let’s say you are anxious about social situations because of your hearing loss. Consequently, you are more likely to avoid going out, shutting yourself off to the world. You feel embarrassed because you have to keep asking people to repeat themselves. It stops you from wanting to see friends or family, forcing you into a depressive state where you want to stay home and be alone.
Following on from this, when you’re anxious about what people might be saying about it, it’s further reason to avoid social interactions. In essence, your hearing loss is forcing you to stay inside and shut yourself off from the outside world. This can create a very depressing mindset that’s hard to get out of.
How Do You Combat Anxiety, Depression and Hearing Loss?
Firstly, notice some of the telltale signs of hearing loss. Are you struggling to hear people when they speak? Are high-pitched sounds no longer audible? Does everything sound muffled? Do you experience tinnitus?
Once you have spotted these symptoms and acknowledged you might have hearing loss, take action! Call an audiologist and request a hearing test today. This test will look at your ears and provide comprehensive results to help you understand what type of hearing loss you have and how severe it is.
From here, you can start getting the right treatment. In most cases, this will involve getting hearing aids. Depending on what type of hearing loss you have – or how severe it is – you will get hearing aids that are programmed to help.
Those of you with hearing loss will now be able to hear again when using these devices. Plus, it can stop your hearing from getting worse! As a result, you’re able to hear everything as you used to, eliminating the causes of anxiety and depression that are linked to hearing loss.
For more information on hearing loss and the treatments available, contact Atlantic Audiology today. Give us a call today at (401) 262-0170 to learn about how we can help you!