Even now you’re missing calls. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. Other times dealing with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But you’re avoiding more than simply phone calls. You missed out on last week’s softball game, too. More and more frequently, this type of thing has been happening. Your starting to feel a little isolated.
Your hearing loss is, of course, the real cause. Your diminishing hearing is resulting in something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t decide what to do about it. Trading loneliness for companionship could take a little bit of work. But we have a few things you can try to make it happen.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t entirely certain what the root cause is. So, noticing your hearing loss is a big first step. That could mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing professional, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids maintained.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. In many ways, hearing loss is a type of invisible condition. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So it isn’t something anybody will likely pick up on just by looking at you. Your friends might begin to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Talking about your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your responses in a different context.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be Kept Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an important first step. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing exams is also important. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist tendencies you might feel. But you can combat isolation with several more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
The majority of people feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But it might be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you relate your hearing loss more deliberately to others. Some people even customize their hearing aids with custom designs. You will motivate people to be more considerate when conversing with you by making it more obvious that you have hearing loss.
Get The Correct Treatment
If you’re not properly treating your hearing ailment it will be a lot harder to cope with your hearing loss or tinnitus. Treatment could look very different depending on the person. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is often a common factor. And your everyday life can be greatly impacted by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never fun. But there are some people who believe that’s the preferred way to communicate with someone who suffers from hearing impairment. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Perhaps rather than calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next get together. If everyone can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this time of internet-driven food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid all people for all time. That’s the reason why intentionally placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local supermarket. Get together for a weekly game of cards. Make those activities part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. There are lots of straight forward ways to run into people like taking a walk around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain continue to process sound cues and identify words correctly.
Isolation Can Be Harmful
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Isolation of this kind has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health concerns.
Being realistic about your hearing problem is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life going in the right direction, recognize the truths, and remain in sync with friends and family.