Even now you’re missing phone calls. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. Other times coping with the garbled voice at the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But it’s not just your phone you’re staying away from. You missed out on last week’s bowling night, too. More and more frequently, this sort of thing has been occurring. Your beginning to feel a little isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. Your diminishing ability to hear is resulting in something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t figure out 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 achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In many cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t entirely certain what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. Scheduling an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them properly maintained are also strong first steps.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. There’s no specific way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So when somebody looks at you it’s unlikely they will observe that you have hearing loss. To your people around you, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. If you let people know that you are having a difficult time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making certain your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing exams is also essential. And it may help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you may feel. But you can overcome isolation with several more steps.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are a lot of individuals who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you communicate your hearing loss more intentionally to others. Some people even go so far as to embellish 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 talk to you and making sure you understand before moving the conversation forward.
Get The Correct Treatment
Dealing with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be a lot more difficult if you aren’t correctly treating that hearing condition. Treatment could look very different depending on the situation. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is often a common factor. And even something that basic can make a real difference in your everyday life.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never fun. But there are some individuals who believe that’s the best way to communicate with somebody who suffers from hearing loss. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Perhaps texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. If everyone can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
In this time of internet-driven food delivery, it would be easy to avoid everyone for good. That’s why purposely placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Go to your local supermarket rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Set up game night with your friends. Social activities should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as simple as going for a walk around your neighborhood can be a good way to run into other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and to keep processing sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Hazardous
If you’re separating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been connected to this sort of isolation.
Being practical about your hearing condition is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life going in the right direction, acknowledge the truths, and do whatever you can to ensure you’re showing up for those regular card games.