Do you have hearing loss and experience anxiety? If so, know that you’re far from alone. In fact, according to one 2017 study, “The problem of anxiety and depression in patients with moderate and severe sudden sensorineural hearing loss is relatively prominent, and the symptoms of anxiety and depression are obviously affected by the symptoms and other diseases… After treatment, anxiety and depression status changes significantly.”
We review more about the connection between hearing loss and anxiety, as well as how you can seek treatment, below.
What Does the Research Show?
Multiple studies have established a strong link between hearing loss and anxiety, and the more severe your hearing loss is, the greater your chance of having this disorder.
In another 2017 study of 1,700 adults ages 76 to 85, researchers found that those with mild hearing loss had a 32% higher chance of having anxiety, and for those with moderate or higher hearing loss, the chance rose by 59%.
Why Is There a Link?
People with hearing loss have a lot of things to worry about, like mishearing someone and responding inappropriately or missing an important warning sound like a smoke alarm or car honking. This type of constant worry can lead to an anxiety disorder.
How Can Hearing Aids Help?
The best way to find relief from your anxiety is to address the underlying cause. This means if your hearing loss is causing anxiety for you, treating it will help not only help you hear better, but also feel less anxious.
For example, if you can hear what your conversation partner is saying, you won’t feel as anxious about how you respond. In addition, if you can hear warning sounds, you won’t worry as much about your physical safety.
What Other Devices Can Help?
For those who have already made the investment in hearing aids and are looking for more, there are other types of devices that can help relieve anxiety related to your hearing loss. For instance, you can invest in a sunrise alarm clock that wakes you with light so you aren’t worried about being late for work, and a captioned phone will allow you to communicate with people like the front office staff at your doctor’s office without being anxious about mishearing important information. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call Eastern Oklahoma ENT today.