Even now you’re missing calls. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. Other times, you just don’t want to go through the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But you’re staying away from more than simply phone calls. Last week you missed pickleball with friends. This type of thing has been taking place more and more. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, of course, the root cause. Your diminishing hearing is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Trading loneliness for friendship could take a little bit of work. But we have a few things you can try to achieve it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
Often you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to occur. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. Scheduling an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them properly maintained are also strong first steps.
Acknowledgment may also take the form of telling people in your life about your hearing loss. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So it’s not something anybody will likely notice just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. If you let people know that you are having a tough time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Making certain your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing assessments is also significant. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also help. But there are several more steps you can take to tackle isolation.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
Most people think that a smaller more invisible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But if people could see your hearing aid they would have a better recognition of the struggle you are living with. Some people even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized artwork or designs. By making it more obvious, you help other people to do you the courtesy of looking at you when they speak with you and making sure you understand before moving the conversation forward.
Get The Right Treatment
Coping with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing ailment. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly from person to person. But often, it means using hearing aids (or making sure that your hearing aids are correctly adjusted). And your everyday life can be substantially impacted by something even this simple.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never fun. But there are some people who believe that’s the preferred way to communicate with somebody who suffers from hearing loss. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you need from people close to you. Perhaps rather than calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next pickleball game. If everybody is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why you can steer clear of isolation by purposely placing yourself in situations where there are people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local grocery store. Gather for a weekly game of cards. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. Even something as simple as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a good way to run into other people. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain continue to process sound cues and identify words correctly.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
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 connected to this type of isolation.
So the best way to keep your social life going and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be practical about your hearing condition, be honest about your situation, and remain in sync with family and friends.