Even now you’re missing calls. Sometimes, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. Other times dealing with the garbled voice at the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But it isn’t just your phone you’re staying away from. Last week you skipped softball with friends. More and more often, this type of thing has been taking place. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
The real 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 understand what to do about it. Trading solitude for companionship might take some work. But we have a number of things you can try to do it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
In a good number of cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t entirely sure what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. That could mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing professional, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making it a point to keep those hearing aids in working order.
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 ailment. There’s no particular way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So it isn’t something anybody will likely notice just by looking at you. Your friends may begin to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Talking about your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re going through and place your responses in a different context.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing assessments is also significant. And curbing your first inclinations 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 more invisible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you communicate your hearing impairment more intentionally to others. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with custom art or decorations. By making it more obvious, you invite other people to do you the courtesy of looking at you when they speak with you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation forward.
Get The Correct Treatment
If you aren’t correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be quite a bit harder to deal with your hearing loss or tinnitus. What “treatment” looks like may fluctuate wildly from person to person. But often, it means using hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are correctly adjusted). And your everyday life can be greatly impacted by something even this simple.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But there are some people who believe that’s the best way to communicate with somebody who suffers from hearing loss. That’s why it’s essential that you advocate for what you need from people close to you. Perhaps texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. If everybody is in the loop, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Pathway
In this age of internet-driven food delivery, it would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s the reason why you can steer clear of isolation by intentionally putting yourself in situations where there will be people. Go to your local supermarket instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Schedule game night with your friends. Social events should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood can be a good way to run into other people. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Dangerous to Become Isolated
If you’re isolating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Isolation of this sort has been connected to cognitive decline, depression, worry, and other cognitive health problems.
Being practical 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, be honest about your situation, and do whatever you can to guarantee you’re showing up for those regular card games.