Even now you’re missing calls. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. On other occasions, you just 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 staying away from. Last week you skipped a round of golf with friends. This type of thing has been taking place more and more. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. Your diminishing hearing is resulting in something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t determine what to do about it. Trading solitude for companionship could take some work. But if you want to realize it, here are a number of things you can try.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is The First Step
In many cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t entirely certain what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. That may mean making an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids in working order.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when people look at you it’s not likely 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 hard time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an important first step. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing checks is also significant. And it may help curb some of the initial isolationist tendencies you might feel. But you can combat isolation with a few more steps.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are plenty of individuals who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But if others could see your hearing aid they might have a better recognition of the difficulty you are living with. Some people even personalize their hearing aids with custom artwork. You will persuade people to be more considerate when talking with you by making it more obvious that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Help
Coping with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t properly treating that hearing ailment. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly from person to person. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And even something that basic can make a huge difference in your daily life.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never enjoyable to get shouted at. But individuals with hearing loss frequently deal with individuals who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Perhaps texting to make plans would be better than calling. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Pathway
It’s easy to stay away from everyone in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why you can avoid isolation by purposely putting yourself in situations where there are people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local grocery store. Gather for a weekly card game. Social events should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as straight forward as going for a walk through your neighborhood can be a good way to see other people. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words precisely and to keep processing sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Hazardous
Your doing more than limiting your social life by separating yourself because of untreated hearing loss. Isolation of this type has been connected to mental decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health issues.
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 do what you can to guarantee you’re making those regular card games.