According to the Oxford English Dictionary, anxiety is “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Small wonder, then, that mild to moderate hearing loss can be a contributor to anxiety, and often before the hearing loss is even noticed or detected. Moreover, once the hearing loss has been identified, it is just as common to worry about how use of hearing-assistance devices might be perceived by friends and colleagues.
Hearing loss and anxiety need not go hand-in-hand, but if they do, read on for information and helpful suggestions.
Anxiety Before Hearing Loss Detection
It is frequently the case that hearing loss creeps in on us over time, so that we have to work harder at conducting basic social transactions without even knowing why. If you have noticed that you are having difficulty enjoying meals with friends or keeping up at the conference table and are feeling anxious about it, it’s possible that you need your hearing checked.
Getting your hearing tested is simple and non-invasive, so if you’re feeling anxious at the prospect, there’s no reason to fret. Once the causes and particulars of your hearing loss are identified, your doctor or audiologist can suggest solutions that will allow you to jump back into the conversation and fully engage with your family and work-life again
Anxiety After Hearing Loss Detection
If you’ve positively identified the hearing loss and the very idea of it is what’s causing you anxiety, you should rest assured that dealing with hearing challenges is a different ballgame than it was for your grandparents. While hearing loss used to be associated with growing old, our headphone habits and the industrial noise in our environments is making it more common at younger and younger ages. You might not even know that the CEO seated next to you in the conference room is wearing small hearing aids or using a Noopl with their AirPods Pro.
Now that your doctors have identified the causes and severity of your hearing loss, you will be able to target the tools and devices to help with your specific needs, whether your biggest challenge is talking on the phone or watching of TV or hearing conversation in loud restaurants.
Further Steps for Managing Hearing Loss and Anxiety
Once you’ve had your hearing checked out by medical experts, and even after you’ve figured out all the tricks and tools you need to manage your particular hearing challenges, it is still possible to have a sense of unease about your hearing loss. It is important to know you are not alone, and finding others who are also coping with hearing loss and anxiety can really help to quell fears and answer questions.
Find a Facebook or other group devoted to people coping with hearing loss. The Hearing Loss Association of America has chapters around the country where you can connect and trade tips with others who are experiencing hearing loss. Facebook has a number of private groups devoted to hearing loss— simply request membership to connect with hundreds of others facing similar challenges. Finally, find a therapist who can help you manage anxiety and even suggest medication if your situation warrants it.
While anxiety about sensory loss is understandable, with so many people now dealing with mild to moderate hearing loss at younger ages—and with so many more tools and platforms available for dealing with it—major lifestyle changes to accommodate hearing loss are no longer usually necessary.
Visit our 'How it Works' page to learn how Noopl lets you hear clearly in noisy environments!