Even now you’re missing calls. , it’s that you can’t hear the phone ring. In other cases dealing with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But you’re avoiding more than just phone calls. You missed out on last week’s darts league, too. More and more often, this type of thing has been happening. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
The root cause, of course, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t really figured out how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s triggering something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. Trading loneliness for friendship could take some work. But we have a few things you can try to achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Often you aren’t really certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to happen. So, noticing 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.
Acknowledgment might also take the form of telling people in your life about your hearing loss. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. There’s no particular way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So it isn’t something anybody will likely pick up on just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. If you let people know that you are having a difficult time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid exams to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also important. And it might help curb some of the first isolationist inclinations you may feel. But there are several more steps you can take to combat isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are lots of people who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? 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 people even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with custom artwork or designs. You will motivate people to be more courteous when talking with you by making it more obvious that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Help
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be much harder to cope with your hearing loss or tinnitus. What “treatment” looks like could vary wildly depending on the situation. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is usually a common factor. And even something that simple can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But people with hearing impairment regularly deal with people 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 people around you. Maybe texting to make plans would be better than calling. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this age of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everyone for good. That’s the reason why you can steer clear of isolation by intentionally placing yourself in situations where there will be people. Shop at your local supermarket rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Set up game night with friends. Make those plans part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. There are so many simple ways to run into people like taking a walk around your neighborhood. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
Isolation Can Be Harmful
If you’re separating yourself because of untreated hearing loss, you’re doing more than limiting your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been connected to this kind of isolation.
So the best path to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be realistic about your hearing condition, acknowledge the truths, and stay in sync with family and friends.