Even now you’re missing calls. 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 avoiding more than simply phone calls. You missed last week’s pickleball game, too. This kind of thing has been occurring more and more. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. Your diminishing ability to hear is resulting in something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t figure out what to do about it. Trading loneliness for friendship may take a little bit of work. But if you want to do it, here are a number of things you can do.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In many cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t entirely certain what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. Scheduling an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them well maintained are also important first steps.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. In a way, hearing loss is a kind of invisible affliction. Someone who is hard of hearing 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 seem to be anti-social. If you tell people that you are having a tough time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Getting scheduled hearing aid exams to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also essential. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also be helpful. But you can overcome isolation with several more steps.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are lots of individuals who value 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 convey your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some people even individualize their hearing aids with custom designs. By making it more noticeable, 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 on.
Get Professional Help
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be a lot harder to deal with your hearing loss or tinnitus. What “treatment” looks like could vary wildly depending on the situation. But usually, it means using hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are correctly calibrated). And even something that basic can make a significant difference in your daily life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never enjoyable. But people with hearing impairment routinely deal with individuals who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s vital that you advocate for what you require from people close to you. Maybe texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everybody can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this age of internet-driven food delivery, it would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s why you can avoid isolation by purposely placing yourself in situations where there will be people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local supermarket. Meet up for a weekly game of cards. Social activities should be arranged on your calendar. Even something as straight forward as taking 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 correctly and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Isolation of this kind has been connected to mental decline, depression, worry, and other mental health problems.
So the best way for you to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be realistic about your hearing condition, be realistic about your situation, and remain in sync with family and friends.