You’re missing phone calls now. On occasion, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. On other occasions, you simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it’s not just your phone you’re avoiding. Last week you missed softball with friends. More and more often, this kind of thing has been occurring. Your starting to feel somewhat isolated.
Your hearing loss is, of course, the root cause. You haven’t quite figured out how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your daily life, and it’s resulting in something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. Trading solitude for friendship might take a little bit of work. But if you want to realize it, here are a few things you can try.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite certain what the root cause is. So, noticing your hearing loss is an important first step. Scheduling an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them properly maintained 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. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So it isn’t something people will likely recognize just by looking at you. Your friends might 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 reactions in a different context.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an important first step. Getting regular hearing aid exams to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also essential. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also be helpful. But there are a few more steps you can take to tackle isolation.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are a lot of individuals who value 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 impairment more intentionally to others. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with custom artwork or designs. You will persuade people to be more courteous when speaking with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Right Treatment
If you’re not effectively treating your hearing condition it will be a lot harder to deal with your hearing loss or tinnitus. What “treatment” looks like may vary wildly from person to person. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And even something that basic can make a real difference in your daily life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never fun. But people with hearing loss regularly deal with people who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is important. Perhaps texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. If everybody is in the loop, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why you can avoid isolation by deliberately placing yourself in situations where there are people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local grocery store. Schedule game night with friends. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. Even something as straight forward as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain continue to process sound cues and identify words correctly.
Isolation Can Be Hazardous
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by isolating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this kind of isolation.
Being realistic about your hearing problem is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, recognize the truths, and stay in sync with family and friends.