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Feeling Anxious? Hearing Loss Might be The Culprit
The hearing loss experienced by over five percent of the world’s population can cause a wide range of secondary issues. The direct impact of hearing loss on sensory inputs within the brain has especially been linked to almost double the risk of dementia in even mild cases. Ongoing and unaddressed issues with hearing health have also been linked to the development of a wide range of mental health complaints.
Depression is the most widely published of these and is largely thought to stem from increased isolation, but this is by no means the only mental health issue with strong links to hearing loss in general. Anxiety has also arisen time and again across studies into this subject, with the latest findings revealing that individuals who experience hearing loss face a significantly increased risk of experiencing anxiety for a wide range of reasons.
While it may not be the first thing that your mind jumps to, it’s therefore worth remembering that, if you feel anxious without being able to understand why, your hearing health may be to blame. In this article, we consider how that is, and what you can do about it.
Can Hearing Loss Cause Anxiety?
Anxiety that floods your body with excessive levels of stress hormones at typically inappropriate times is a behavioral response, meaning that the simple answer to whether hearing loss can cause anxiety is no.
However, taking this at face value would mean completely oversimplifying this issue, especially when you consider that studies have revealed how even mild hearing loss increases the risks of developing anxiety by as much as 32%. To add further complication to this fire, there’s also strong evidence to suggest that sudden hearing loss is more common in individuals with generally higher levels of anxiety.
Links between the two issues are therefore undeniable. What’s less clear is why these connections arise and what they mean for hearing or mental health overall.
How Does Hearing Loss Exacerbate Anxiety?
While links between the development of hearing loss in already anxious individuals are thought to be connected to the inner workings of the brain and the blood supply to the ears, what’s less clear to many of us is how hearing loss worsens the prevalence of anxiety. Based on existing evidence, experts believe that the link here is actually surprisingly simple and comes back to concerns caused by hearing loss in the first place.
Added to the general isolation and the often-hidden nature of hearing loss, these growing worries can lead to excessive concerns surrounding:
- The risk of further hearing deterioration
- Fear surrounding treatment
- A lack of personal connection
- Not wanting to irritate those around us
How Can You Address Anxiety-Related to Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss has now been linked to a range of anxieties, each of which can lead to the overproduction of adrenaline, which in turn reduces blood flow to the ears and further worsens hearing health. These interconnected issues can therefore feel like a cycle that never ends, but it is possible to treat the problem and work through these issues together.
Treatment for anxiety typically includes talking to a professional, and this may be best in extreme cases. If you feel as though your anxiety might stem from hearing loss, however, you may benefit from first seeking the help of an audiologist who can both put your concerns to rest and minimize the impact of hearing loss overall.
This is especially the case if seeking treatment is what’s been making you anxious in the first place and is best worked through with the help of fully trained audiologists who are able to tailor treatment plans with anxiety in mind. Treatments like hearing aids can also help to offset the impact of hearing loss in your every day, both helping to prevent the deterioration that you’ve been so concerned about and to enable reconnection with your loved ones, the loss of which left you so much alone with your thoughts in the first place.
Let Us Take the Stress Out of Your Hearing Loss
Like any other health complaint, hearing loss can be incredibly worrying, especially when untreated problems are left to both isolate your lifestyle and worsen over time. Regardless of why hearing loss is triggering feelings of anxiety, trained audiologists are on-hand to provide the treatment, advice and trained support that you need to come out smiling. Enjoy this helping hand and more by contacting our fantastic team here at Brentwood Hearing Center at 615-377-0420 today.