You’re missing phone calls now. Sometimes, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. In other cases dealing with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But you’re staying away from more than just phone calls. Last week you missed basketball with friends. This type of thing has been happening more and more. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the root cause. Your diminishing hearing is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t figure out what to do about it. Trading loneliness for companionship might take some work. But we have a few things you can try to achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite certain what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them in good working order are also strong first steps.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. In a way, hearing loss is a kind of invisible condition. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So it’s not something anyone will likely recognize just by looking at you. Your friends may start to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your reactions in a different context.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing checks is also essential. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also be helpful. But there are several more steps you can take to fight isolation.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are a lot of individuals who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it could be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you convey your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some individuals even individualize their hearing aids with custom designs. You will motivate people to be more considerate when talking with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Right Treatment
If you’re not effectively treating your hearing ailment it will be much harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like may vary wildly from person to person. But usually, it means wearing hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are correctly calibrated). And even something that basic can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never enjoyable. But there are some people who believe that’s the preferred way to communicate with someone who suffers from hearing loss. So telling people how to best communicate with you is important. Perhaps instead of calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next get together. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
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 the reason why purposely placing people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local supermarket. Schedule game night with friends. Social activities should be arranged on your calendar. Even something as straight forward as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and identify words correctly.
Solitude Can Be Harmful
If you’re separating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this sort of isolation.
Being sensible about your hearing problem is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, be honest about your situation, and remain in sync with friends and family.