You’re missing phone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. In other cases coping with the garbled voice at the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But you’re avoiding more than just phone calls. You missed last week’s softball game, too. This sort of thing has been happening more and more. Your beginning to feel somewhat isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your hearing loss. Your diminishing hearing is resulting in something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Trading loneliness for friendship could take some work. But if you want to do it, here are a few things you can try.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
In many cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t quite certain what the root cause is. So, noticing your hearing loss is a big first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them properly maintained are also strong first steps.
Acknowledgment may also take the form of telling people in your life about your loss of hearing. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when people look at you it’s not likely they will detect that you have hearing loss. To your people around you, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. If you tell people that you are having a tough time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Getting scheduled hearing aid examinations to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also help. But there are a few more steps you can take to fight isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
Most people think that a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But it could be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you convey your hearing loss more intentionally to others. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with custom art or designs. You will persuade people to be more considerate when conversing with you by making it more apparent that you have hearing loss.
Get The Appropriate Treatment
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing condition it will be quite a bit harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like may vary wildly from person to person. But often, it means using hearing aids (or making sure that your hearing aids are properly adjusted). And even something that simple can make a real difference in your day-to-day life.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting shouted at is never enjoyable. But individuals with hearing loss routinely deal with individuals who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s essential that you advocate for what you require from people around you. Perhaps instead of calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. If everyone can get on the same page, you’re not as likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this time of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid all people for all time. That’s the reason why intentionally putting people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local supermarket. Gather for a weekly card game. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. There are so many simple ways to see people like walking around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain continue to process sound cues and discern words precisely.
Solitude Can Be Dangerous
If you’re isolating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been connected to this type of isolation.
Being sensible about your hearing problem is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, recognize the truths, and remain in sync with friends and family.