You’re missing phone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. Other times, you simply don’t want to go through the annoyance of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But you’re staying away from more than simply phone calls. Last week you missed softball with friends. More and more frequently, this sort of thing has been occurring. Your starting to feel somewhat isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t quite figured out how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your daily life, and it’s resulting in something that’s all too common: social isolation. Getting away from loneliness and back to being social can be tricky. But if you want to realize it, here are a number of things you can try.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In a good number of cases, social isolation first occurs 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 properly maintained are also strong first steps.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. In a way, hearing loss is a type of invisible ailment. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So it’s not something anybody will likely pick up on just by looking at you. Your friends may start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you tell people that you are having a difficult time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an important first step. Getting regular hearing aid examinations to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also essential. And it might help curb some of the first isolationist tendencies you may feel. But there are a few more steps you can take to combat isolation.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are plenty 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 relate your hearing loss more intentionally to others. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with custom artwork or designs. By making it more noticeable, you help other people to do you the courtesy of facing you when they speak with you and making sure you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get The Correct Treatment
Coping with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing ailment. Treatment methods could look very different depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is often a common factor. And even something that simple can make a real difference in your day-to-day life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never fun to get yelled at. But there are some individuals who believe that’s the best way to communicate with someone who suffers from hearing loss. That’s why it’s essential that you advocate for what you require from those around you. Maybe texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everybody can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to stay away from everybody in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why intentionally placing people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Go to your local grocery store instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Gather for a weekly card game. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. There are so many straight forward ways to see people such as 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.
Solitude Can Be Harmful
If you’re isolating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Isolation of this type has been connected to cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health problems.
Being sensible about your hearing condition is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, acknowledge the truths, and do what you can to guarantee you’re making those regular card games.