Even now you’re missing phone calls. Sometimes, it’s that you don’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 isn’t just your phone you’re avoiding. You missed last week’s softball game, too. More and more frequently, this sort of thing has been taking place. Your beginning to feel somewhat isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading loneliness for camaraderie could take some work. But if you want to realize it, here are some things you can do.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Often you aren’t really sure what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to happen. So, noticing your hearing loss is an important first step. That might mean making an appointment with a hearing professional, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making it a point to keep those hearing aids in working order.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So it isn’t something people will likely pick up on 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 dealing with and place your responses in a different context.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid examinations to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also important. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also help. But there are several more steps you can take to fight isolation.
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 could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you relate your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some people even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized art or designs. You will motivate people to be more courteous when conversing with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Help
If you aren’t effectively treating your hearing condition it will be much harder to cope with your hearing loss or tinnitus. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly depending on the situation. But usually, it means using hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are properly adjusted). And your daily life can be substantially affected by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting shouted at is never fun. But people with hearing impairment frequently deal with individuals who think that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s essential that you advocate for what you need from those close to you. Perhaps rather than calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next pickleball game. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone on the same page.
Put People In Your Path
In this age of internet-driven food delivery, it’s easy enough 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 grocery store instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Get together for a weekly game of cards. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. There are lots of straight forward ways to see people such as walking around your neighborhood. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and to keep processing sound cues.
Isolation Can Be Harmful
If you’re separating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been connected to this sort of isolation.
Being practical about your hearing condition is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life going in the right direction, be honest about your situation, and remain in sync with friends and family.