Even now you’re missing calls. You don’t hear the phone ring 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 understand.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re shunning. Last week you missed a round of golf with friends. This type of thing has been occurring more and more. Your beginning to feel a little isolated.
The real cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t really figured out how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading solitude for companionship might take a little bit of work. But if you want to do it, here are a number of things you can do.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite certain what the root cause is. So, noticing 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.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So when somebody looks at you it’s not likely they will observe that you have hearing loss. 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.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be Kept Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making certain your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing checks is also significant. And it might help curb some of the first isolationist inclinations you may feel. But you can deal with isolation with a few more steps.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
The majority of people think that a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But it could be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you convey your hearing impairment more intentionally to others. Some people even individualize their hearing aids with custom artwork. You will motivate people to be more considerate when talking with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Help
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing condition it will be a lot harder to deal with your hearing loss or tinnitus. What “treatment” looks like may fluctuate wildly depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is often a common factor. And even something that simple can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never enjoyable to get yelled at. But there are some people who assume that’s the best way to communicate with somebody who suffers from hearing loss. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is essential. Maybe texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. If everybody is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
In this age of internet-based food delivery, it would be easy to avoid everybody for good. That’s the reason why you can steer clear of isolation by intentionally placing yourself in situations where there will be people. Shop at your local grocery store instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Gather for a weekly game of cards. Social activities should be arranged on your calendar. There are lots of straight forward ways to run into people like taking a walk around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and identify words precisely.
It Can be Dangerous to Become Isolated
If you’re isolating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Isolation of this kind has been linked to mental decline, depression, worry, and other cognitive health concerns.
Being realistic about your hearing condition is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, recognize the truths, and do what you can to guarantee you’re showing up for those weekly card games.