Even now you’re missing calls. On occasion, it’s that you can’t hear the phone ringing. Other times coping with the garbled voice on the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But you’re avoiding more than just phone calls. You missed 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 hearing loss. You haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate your diminishing ability to hear into your everyday life, and it’s triggering something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. Escaping isolation and getting back to being social can be difficult. But we have a number of things you can try to do it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Sometimes 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 an important first step. That may mean making an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids maintained.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. In many ways, hearing loss is a kind of invisible ailment. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So when somebody looks at you it’s unlikely they will notice that you have hearing loss. Your friends might begin to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you let people know that you are having a tough time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting regular hearing aid exams to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also important. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist tendencies you might feel. But you can combat isolation with a few more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are lots of individuals who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But if others could see your hearing aid they would have a better recognition of the struggle you are going through. Some people even personalize their hearing aids with custom designes. By making it more noticeable, you invite other people to do you the courtesy of looking at you when they speak with you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation forward.
Get Professional Treatment
Coping with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t properly treating that hearing ailment. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly depending on the situation. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And even something that simple can make a substantial difference in your everyday life.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But individuals with hearing impairment frequently deal with people who feel that this is the best way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you require from those around you. Perhaps texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Path
In this age of internet-based food delivery, it would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s why you can avoid isolation by intentionally putting yourself in situations where there are people. Shop at your local grocery store instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Meet up for a weekly card game. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. Even something as basic as taking a walk around your neighborhood can be a great 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 precisely.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
If you’re isolating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment, you’re doing more than limiting your social life. Isolation of this kind has been linked to mental decline, depression, worry, and other mental health concerns.
So the best path to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be practical about your hearing ailment, acknowledge the truths, and do whatever you can to guarantee you’re showing up for those weekly card games.