You’re missing phone calls now. Often times, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. Other times dealing with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re avoiding. You skipped last week’s softball game, too. More and more frequently, this type of thing has been taking place. Your beginning to feel somewhat isolated.
The root cause, of course, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t really determined how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s triggering something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading solitude for camaraderie may take some work. But we have a number of things you can try to do it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite certain what the underlying cause is. So, noticing your hearing loss is a big first step. Scheduling an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them in good working order are also strong first steps.
Recognition might also take the form of telling people in your life about your loss of hearing. In a way, hearing loss is a kind of invisible ailment. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So when people look at you it’s not likely they will notice that you have hearing loss. Your friends might begin to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re going through and place your responses in a different context.
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 regular hearing aid exams to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also be helpful. But you can overcome isolation with a few more steps.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
Most people think that a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you convey your hearing impairment more intentionally to others. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized artwork or decorations. You will encourage people to be more considerate when conversing with you by making it more obvious that you have hearing loss.
Get The Appropriate Treatment
Coping with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be a lot more difficult if you aren’t correctly treating that hearing ailment. What “treatment” looks like may vary wildly from person to person. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is usually a common factor. And your daily life can be substantially impacted by something even this simple.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting yelled at is never fun. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the best way to communicate with somebody who has hearing impairment. That’s why it’s vital that you advocate for what you require from people around you. Perhaps instead of calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next pickleball game. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone on the same page.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to stay away from everyone in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why you can steer clear of isolation by intentionally putting yourself in situations where there are people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local grocery store. Meet up for a weekly card game. Make those plans a part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. Even something as simple as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Dangerous
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Isolation of this type has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health concerns.
Being sensible about your hearing condition is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, acknowledge the truths, and remain in sync with family and friends.