Even now you’re missing phone calls. , it’s that you can’t hear the phone ring. Other times coping with the garbled voice at the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But it’s not just your phone you’re shunning. Last week you skipped basketball with friends. This type of thing has been happening more and more. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your hearing loss. Your diminishing hearing is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t decide what to do about it. Trading solitude for friendship may take some work. But we have a number of things you can try to achieve it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
Sometimes you aren’t really certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to occur. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. That may mean making an appointment with a hearing specialist, 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. In a way, hearing loss is a type of invisible affliction. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a specific “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. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your reactions in a different context.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making certain your hearing stays consistent by having regular hearing exams is also significant. 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 people who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it might be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you relate your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some individuals even individualize their hearing aids with custom artwork. By making it more obvious, you invite other people to do you the courtesy of looking at you when they speak with you and making sure you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get Professional Treatment
If you’re not effectively treating your hearing ailment it will be quite a bit harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. Treatment could be very different depending on the situation. But usually, it means using hearing aids (or making sure that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And your day-to-day life can be substantially affected by something even this basic.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But individuals with hearing impairment routinely deal with people who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s vital that you advocate for what you need from people close to you. Maybe rather than calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. If everybody is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Pathway
In this time of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid all people for all time. That’s why you can avoid isolation by intentionally putting yourself in situations where there will be people. Shop at your local grocery store rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Schedule game night with your friends. Social activities should be scheduled on your calendar. There are so many simple ways to see people like walking around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and discern words precisely.
Isolation Can Be Dangerous
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Isolation of this type has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.
So the best way to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be realistic about your hearing condition, be realistic about your situation, and remain in sync with friends and family.