You’re missing phone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. In other cases coping 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. You skipped last week’s bowling night, too. This type of thing has been occurring more and more. Your beginning to feel a little isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. Your diminishing ability to hear is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t determine what to do about it. Trading loneliness for companionship may take some work. But we have a number of things you can try to achieve it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite sure what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big 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.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. In many ways, hearing loss is a type of invisible ailment. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So when people look 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. If you let people know that you are having a hard time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making certain your hearing stays consistent by having regular hearing checks is also important. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist tendencies you may feel. But there are several more steps you can take to combat isolation.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
Most people think that a smaller less visible 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 deliberately to others. Some individuals even personalize their hearing aids with custom artwork. By making it more obvious, you invite other people to do you the courtesy of facing you when they speak with you and making sure you understand before moving the conversation forward.
Get The Right Treatment
If you aren’t effectively treating your hearing ailment it will be quite a bit harder to deal with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like may fluctuate wildly depending on the situation. But often, it means using hearing aids (or ensuring that your hearing aids are properly adjusted). And your everyday life can be substantially impacted by something even this simple.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never enjoyable to get shouted at. But there are some individuals who believe that’s the best way to communicate with somebody who has hearing impairment. So telling people how to best communicate with you is vital. Perhaps texting to make plans would be better than calling. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to avoid everyone in the age of the internet. That’s why you can avoid isolation by intentionally putting yourself in situations where there will be people. Shop at your local supermarket instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Gather for a weekly game of cards. Make those plans a part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. There are so many straight forward ways to run into people such as taking a walk around your neighborhood. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Harmful
Your doing more than limiting your social life by separating yourself because of neglected hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues 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, recognize the truths, and do what you can to ensure you’re showing up for those weekly card games.