You’re missing telephone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. Other times dealing with the garbled voice at the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But you’re staying away from more than just phone calls. Last week you skipped basketball with friends. More and more often, this kind of thing has been happening. Your beginning to feel somewhat isolated.
The real cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. Your diminishing ability to hear is resulting in something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t determine what to do about it. Trading solitude for companionship might take some work. But if you want to realize it, here are a few things you can try.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Often you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to happen. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. That might 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.
Telling 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. There’s no specific way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So when people look at you it’s not likely they will notice that you have hearing loss. Your friends may start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you let people know that you are having a difficult time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Getting scheduled hearing aid examinations to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also be helpful. But there are several more steps you can take to combat isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
Most people think that a smaller more invisible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But if people could see your hearing aid they might have a better understanding of the difficulty you are experiencing. Some people even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with custom art or decorations. By making it more obvious, you help other people to do you the courtesy of facing you when they speak with you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation forward.
Get Professional Treatment
If you’re not effectively treating your hearing condition it will be a lot harder to deal with your hearing loss or tinnitus. Management could look very different depending on the situation. But normally, it means wearing hearing aids (or ensuring that your hearing aids are correctly calibrated). And your daily life can be enormously affected by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the preferred way to communicate with someone who has hearing loss. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you need from people around you. Perhaps instead of calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. If everybody can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Pathway
In this age of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everybody for good. That’s the reason why you can avoid isolation by deliberately putting yourself in situations where there are people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local grocery store. Schedule game night with your friends. Make those plans part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. Even something as simple as going for 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 to keep processing sound cues.
Isolation Can Be Harmful
Your doing more than limiting your social life by isolating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment. Isolation of this kind has been linked to mental decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health problems.
Being sensible 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 remain in sync with family and friends.