Even now you’re missing phone calls. Often times, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ring. 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 basketball with friends. This kind of thing has been taking place more and more. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. Your diminishing ability to hear is resulting in something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t determine what to do about it. Trading solitude for companionship may take a little bit of work. But we have a number of things you can try to do it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is The First Step
Sometimes you aren’t really sure what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to happen. 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.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So it isn’t something people will likely pick up on just by looking at you. Your friends may begin to think 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 responses in a different context.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid examinations to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also important. And it may help curb some of the first isolationist inclinations you may feel. But there are several more steps you can take to tackle isolation.
Make it so Others 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 might be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you communicate your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some individuals even individualize their hearing aids with custom artwork. By making it more obvious, you encourage other people to do you the courtesy of facing you when they speak with you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get The Right Treatment
Coping with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing condition. 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 simple can make a substantial difference in your daily life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting yelled at is never fun. But individuals with hearing impairment frequently deal with individuals who think that this is the best way to communicate with them. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Maybe rather than calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to plan 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
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why purposely putting people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local supermarket. Get together for a weekly card game. Make those plans part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. There are lots of easy ways to run into people like taking a walk around your neighborhood. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by isolating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been connected to this sort of isolation.
So the best path to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be practical about your hearing condition, be realistic about your situation, and do whatever you can to ensure you’re making those weekly card games.