Even now you’re missing phone calls. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. On other occasions, you simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it isn’t just your phone you’re staying away from. Last week you missed a round of golf with friends. More and more often, this sort of thing has been occurring. Your beginning to feel somewhat isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t really determined how to integrate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. Escaping isolation and getting back to being social can be challenging. 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 manifests when you aren’t entirely sure what the underlying cause is. So, noticing your hearing loss is an important first step. That might mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids maintained.
Acknowledgment may also take the form of alerting people in your life about your hearing loss. In many ways, hearing loss is a type of invisible affliction. There’s no particular way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So when somebody looks at you it’s unlikely they will notice 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.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting regular hearing aid checks to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also help. But you can overcome isolation with a few more steps.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
Most people feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But if others could see your hearing aid they would have a better recognition of the struggle you are living with. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized artwork or designs. By making it more noticeable, 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 Right Treatment
Coping with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t correctly treating that hearing ailment. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly from person to person. But often, it means using hearing aids (or ensuring that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And your day-to-day life can be substantially affected by something even this basic.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never fun. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the best way to communicate with someone who has hearing impairment. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you require from those close to you. Perhaps instead of calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next pickleball game. If everybody is in the loop, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this age of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid all people for all time. That’s why purposely placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local supermarket. Schedule game night with friends. Social activities should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as straight forward as going for a walk through your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. In addition to 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
If you’re separating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than limiting your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this type of isolation.
So the best path 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, acknowledge the truths, and remain in sync with friends and family.