You’re missing telephone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. Other times, you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But it’s not simply your phone you’re shunning. You missed out on last week’s softball game, too. More and more frequently, this type of thing has been occurring. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the root cause. Your diminishing hearing is resulting in something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Trading loneliness for camaraderie could take some work. But we have a few things you can try to achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Often you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to occur. 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 important first steps.
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. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So it isn’t something anybody will likely notice just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could seem to be anti-social. Talking about your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your reactions in a different context.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid examinations to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also essential. And it may help curb some of the first isolationist inclinations you might feel. But there are several more steps you can take to tackle isolation.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
Most people feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But if others could see your hearing aid they would have a better understanding of the difficulty you are living with. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized artwork or decorations. By making it more obvious, you help 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 Appropriate Treatment
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be quite a bit harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. Treatment could look very different depending on the person. But usually, it means wearing hearing aids (or ensuring that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And even something that simple can make a real difference in your day-to-day life.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But there are some people who assume that’s the preferred way to communicate with somebody who suffers from hearing loss. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is vital. Maybe 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 Yourself in Social Situations
In this age of internet-based food delivery, it would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s why intentionally putting people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local supermarket. Gather for a weekly game of cards. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. There are so many easy ways to run into people such as walking around your neighborhood. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words correctly and to keep processing sound cues.
It Can be Dangerous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by isolating yourself because of neglected hearing loss. Isolation of this type has been linked to mental decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health problems.
So the best way for you to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be practical about your hearing ailment, be realistic about your situation, and do whatever you can to ensure you’re showing up for those regular card games.