You’re missing phone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. In other cases dealing with the garbled voice on the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re shunning. You missed out on last week’s darts league, too. This type of thing has been happening more and more. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your hearing loss. Your diminishing hearing is resulting in something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t figure out what to do about it. Trading loneliness for friendship might take some work. But if you want to make it happen, here are a few things you can try.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is The First Step
Often you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts 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.
Recognition may also take the form of telling people in your life about your loss of hearing. In many ways, hearing loss is a kind of invisible ailment. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So it’s not something anyone will likely pick up on just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your responses in a different context.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing assessments is also significant. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also help. But you can overcome isolation with a few more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
Most people think that a smaller more invisible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But it might be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you convey your hearing loss more deliberately to others. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with customized art or designs. You will persuade people to be more courteous when speaking with you by making it more apparent that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Treatment
If you aren’t correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be a lot harder to deal with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly depending on the situation. But normally, it means using hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are correctly calibrated). And your daily life can be enormously affected by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the preferred way to communicate with someone who suffers from hearing loss. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you need from those around you. Perhaps texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everyone is in the loop, you’re less likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
It’s easy to stay away from everyone in the age of the internet. That’s why you can steer clear of isolation by intentionally putting yourself in situations where there are people. Shop at your local grocery store rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Get together for a weekly game of cards. Social events should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as simple as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and to keep processing sound cues.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been connected to this kind of isolation.
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 ailment, be honest about your situation, and do what you can to guarantee you’re showing up for those regular card games.