You’re missing phone calls now. Often times, it’s that you can’t hear the phone ring. In other cases coping with the garbled voice on the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But it’s not just your phone you’re avoiding. You missed out on last week’s bowling night, too. More and more often, this type of thing has been occurring. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
The root cause, of course, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate your diminishing ability to hear into your everyday life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too common: social isolation. Getting away from loneliness and back to being social can be difficult. But we have a number of things you can try to make it happen.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In many cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite certain what the root cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them properly maintained are also strong first steps.
Acknowledgment might also take the form of telling people in your life about your loss of hearing. In many ways, hearing loss is a kind of invisible ailment. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when people look at you it’s not likely they will notice that you have hearing loss. 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 going through and place your reactions in a different context.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing assessments is also essential. And it may help curb some of the first isolationist tendencies you might feel. But there are a few more steps you can take to tackle isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
The majority of people feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But it could be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you convey your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some individuals even individualize their hearing aids with custom designes. You will persuade people to be more considerate when conversing with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Appropriate Treatment
Dealing with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t properly treating that hearing ailment. Treatment could look very different depending on the person. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is usually a common factor. And your day-to-day life can be greatly affected by something even this simple.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But individuals with hearing loss 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 require from those around you. Maybe texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to stay away from everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why intentionally placing people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local grocery store. Meet up for a weekly game of cards. Make those plans part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. There are lots of easy ways to see people like taking a walk around your neighborhood. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
If you’re isolating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment, you’re doing more than limiting your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been linked to this kind of isolation.
So the best way 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, recognize the truths, and stay in sync with family and friends.