Even now you’re missing phone calls. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. On other occasions, you simply don’t want to deal with the annoyance of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it’s not simply your phone you’re staying away from. Last week you missed basketball with friends. This sort of thing has been occurring more and more. Your beginning to feel a little isolated.
The real cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t really figured out how to incorporate your diminishing ability to hear into your everyday life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too common: social isolation. Escaping isolation and getting back to being social can be difficult. But we have a few things you can try to do it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
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 in good working order are also strong 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 ailment. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So when people look at you it’s not likely they will notice that you have hearing loss. Your friends may start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you tell people that you are having a tough time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be Kept Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an important first step. Getting regular hearing aid examinations to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also help. But you can overcome isolation with a few more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are plenty 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 pop a little more could help you convey your hearing impairment more intentionally to others. Some people even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with custom art or decorations. You will motivate people to be more considerate when talking with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Help
If you’re not properly treating your hearing ailment it will be a lot harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like may vary wildly depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is usually a common factor. And even something that basic can make a real difference in your day-to-day life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never enjoyable to get yelled at. But individuals with hearing loss routinely deal with people who think that this is the best way to communicate with them. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is essential. Maybe texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everybody can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to stay away from everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why intentionally putting people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local supermarket. Get together for a weekly card game. Social events should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as straight forward as taking a walk around your neighborhood can be a great way to see other people. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and to keep processing sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Hazardous
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment. Isolation of this type has been linked to mental decline, depression, worry, and other cognitive health problems.
Being sensible about your hearing condition is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, be realistic about your situation, and do what you can to guarantee you’re making those weekly card games.