You’re missing phone calls now. Sometimes, it’s that you can’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 it’s not just your phone you’re staying away from. You skipped last week’s darts league, too. More and more frequently, this sort of thing has been happening. 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 figure out what to do about it. Trading solitude for camaraderie could take a little bit of work. But if you want to make it happen, here are a number of things you can do.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Sometimes you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to occur. So, noticing your hearing loss is a big first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them well maintained are also important first steps.
Acknowledgment could also take the form of telling people in your life about your hearing loss. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. There’s no particular way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So when somebody looks at you it’s unlikely they will observe that you have hearing loss. Your friends might begin to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. 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 Kept Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Making certain your hearing stays consistent by getting regular hearing exams is also important. And it may help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you might feel. But you can overcome isolation with a few more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
The majority of people think that a smaller more invisible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But it might be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you communicate your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some people even individualize their hearing aids with custom designs. You will motivate people to be more courteous when talking with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Treatment
If you’re not effectively treating your hearing condition it will be a lot harder to deal with your tinnitus or hearing loss. Management could look very different depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is often a common factor. And your daily life can be substantially impacted by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But people with hearing loss regularly 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 need from people around you. Maybe texting to make plans would be better than calling. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Pathway
In this time of internet-based food delivery, it would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s the reason why purposely placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Go to your local supermarket instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Gather for a weekly game of cards. Make those activities a part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. Even something as basic 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 discern words precisely.
It Can be Dangerous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than limiting your social life by isolating yourself because of neglected hearing loss. Isolation of this type has been connected to mental decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health issues.
So the best path to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be realistic about your hearing condition, acknowledge the truths, and do what you can to ensure you’re making those weekly card games.