Even now you’re missing calls. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. In other cases dealing with the garbled voice at the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re staying away from. Last week you missed basketball with friends. More and more often, this kind of thing has been happening. Your beginning to feel a little isolated.
Your hearing loss is, of course, the real cause. Your diminishing ability to hear is resulting in something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t decide what to do about it. Trading solitude for companionship may take some work. But we have a number of things you can try to make it happen.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Sometimes you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to happen. So, noticing your hearing loss is an important first step. That could mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids maintained.
Acknowledgment might also take the form of alerting people in your life about your loss of hearing. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So it’s not something people will likely notice just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could seem to be anti-social. If you tell people that you are having a difficult time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be Kept Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing checks is also significant. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you might feel. But there are a few more steps you can take to fight isolation.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are plenty of individuals who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But if others could see your hearing aid they might have a better understanding of the difficulty you are going through. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with customized art or designs. By making it more noticeable, you invite other people to do you the courtesy of facing you when they speak with you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get Professional Help
Dealing with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be much more difficult if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing ailment. Treatment could be very different depending on the person. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And even something that basic can make a real difference in your day-to-day life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never enjoyable to get yelled at. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the best way to communicate with someone who has hearing impairment. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you require from those close to you. Maybe instead of calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next pickleball game. If everyone is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Pathway
In this time of internet-based food delivery, it would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s the reason why purposely putting people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local supermarket. Meet up for a weekly card game. Social events should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as straight forward as going for a walk through your neighborhood can be a great way to see other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words precisely and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Dangerous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than limiting your social life by isolating yourself because of neglected hearing loss. Isolation of this sort has been connected to cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health concerns.
So the best path to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be practical about your hearing condition, recognize the truths, and stay in sync with family and friends.