You’re missing calls now. , it’s that you can’t hear the phone ringing. Other times, you simply don’t want to go through the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But it’s not just your phone you’re staying away from. Last week you skipped softball 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, of course, the real cause. Your diminishing ability to hear is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Getting away from loneliness and back to being social can be challenging. But we have a few things you can try to do it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Often you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to happen. So, noticing your hearing loss is an important first step. That may mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing professional, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids maintained.
Acknowledgment could also take the form of telling people in your life about your loss of hearing. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So it isn’t something anyone will likely recognize just by looking at you. Your friends may start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Talking about your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re going through and place your responses in a different context.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing checks is also significant. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist tendencies you might feel. But you can combat isolation with several more steps.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are a lot of individuals who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But if people could see your hearing aid they would have a better recognition of the struggle you are living with. Some people even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with custom art or decorations. You will motivate people to be more courteous when conversing with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Appropriate Treatment
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing condition it will be much harder to deal with your hearing loss or tinnitus. What “treatment” looks like may vary wildly from person to person. But often, it means using hearing aids (or ensuring that your hearing aids are properly adjusted). And even something that simple can make a substantial difference in your everyday life.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But individuals with hearing impairment routinely deal with individuals who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you require from those close to you. Perhaps texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everyone is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
In this time of internet-driven food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everyone for good. That’s why you can avoid isolation by purposely putting yourself in situations where there will be people. Go to your local supermarket instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Set up game night with your friends. Make those plans a part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. Even something as straight forward as going for a walk around your neighborhood can be a good way to see other people. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and identify words correctly.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than limiting your social life by separating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Isolation of this type has been linked to mental decline, depression, worry, and other cognitive health problems.
So the best way to keep your social life going and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be practical about your hearing ailment, acknowledge the truths, and do what you can to guarantee you’re making those weekly card games.