Even now you’re missing phone calls. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. In other cases coping with the garbled voice on the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But it’s not just your phone you’re staying away from. Last week you skipped pickleball with friends. This sort of thing has been happening more and more. Your starting to feel a little isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. Your diminishing hearing is leading to something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Escaping isolation and getting back to being social can be challenging. But if you want to realize it, here are some things you can do.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is The First Step
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite sure what the root cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. That might mean making an appointment with a hearing professional, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids maintained.
Recognition could also take the form of alerting people in your life about your hearing loss. In many ways, hearing loss is a kind of invisible affliction. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So it’s not something people will likely notice just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel 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.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be Kept Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling 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 important. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also help. But you can deal with isolation with a few 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 if others could see your hearing aid they would have a better understanding of the struggle you are living with. Some people even individualize their hearing aids with custom designes. 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 Appropriate Treatment
Coping with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t properly treating that hearing condition. What “treatment” looks like could vary wildly from person to person. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is usually a common factor. And your everyday life can be substantially affected by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But individuals with hearing loss frequently deal with individuals who think that this is the best way to communicate with them. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is important. Maybe instead of calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next get together. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Path
In this age of internet-driven food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid all people for all time. That’s the reason why you can avoid isolation by intentionally placing yourself in situations where there are people. Shop at your local supermarket instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Set up game night with your friends. Make those activities part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. There are lots of straight forward ways to run into people such as taking a walk around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and discern words correctly.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of neglected hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this sort of isolation.
Being practical about your hearing problem 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 stay in sync with family and friends.