Even now you’re missing phone calls. On occasion, it’s that you can’t hear the phone ring. On other occasions, you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But you’re shunning more than just phone calls. You missed last week’s darts league, too. More and more often, this type of thing has been happening. Your starting to feel somewhat isolated.
The real cause, obviously, is your hearing loss. You haven’t quite determined how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your everyday life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading solitude for camaraderie could take a little bit of work. But we have a few things you can try to do it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In a good number of cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t entirely sure what the root cause is. So, recognizing 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.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when somebody looks 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 those 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 regarding your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid checks to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And it may help curb some of the first isolationist tendencies you may feel. But you can combat isolation with several more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are a lot 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 impairment more deliberately to others. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized artwork or designs. By making it more noticeable, you encourage other people to do you the courtesy of looking at you when they talk to you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get Professional Help
Coping with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t properly treating that hearing condition. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is usually a common factor. And your everyday life can be substantially impacted by something even this simple.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never fun. 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 require from those close to you. Maybe texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. If everyone can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why purposely placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local grocery store. Meet up for a weekly card game. Make those activities a part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. Even something as straight forward as taking a walk around your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words precisely and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than limiting your social life by isolating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Isolation of this kind has been connected to cognitive decline, depression, worry, and other cognitive health issues.
Being practical about your hearing condition is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life going in the right direction, be honest about your situation, and do what you can to ensure you’re showing up for those regular card games.