You’re missing phone calls now. Often times, it’s that you can’t hear the phone ring. On other occasions, you simply don’t want to go through the annoyance of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re staying away from. Last week you skipped basketball with friends. This sort of thing has been occurring more and more. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
The real cause, of course, is your loss of hearing. Your diminishing ability to hear is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t decide what to do about it. Trading loneliness for camaraderie may take a little bit of work. But we have a number of things you can try to achieve it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
Often you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to occur. So, noticing your hearing loss is an important first step. That could mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making it a point to keep those hearing aids in working order.
Recognition may also take the form of alerting people in your life about your hearing loss. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “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 people around you understand what you’re going through and place your responses 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. Getting scheduled hearing aid examinations to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also essential. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also be helpful. But you can deal with isolation with several 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 might have a better understanding of the difficulty you are living with. Some people even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with custom art or designs. You will persuade people to be more courteous when talking with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Correct Treatment
Coping with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be much more difficult if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing condition. What “treatment” looks like may vary wildly depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is often a common factor. And your day-to-day life can be greatly impacted by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But individuals with hearing impairment regularly deal with individuals who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Perhaps texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everybody is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
In this time of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everyone for good. That’s why you can avoid isolation by intentionally putting yourself in situations where there will be people. Shop at your local supermarket rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Get together for a weekly card game. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. There are so many simple ways to see people like taking a walk around your neighborhood. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and to keep processing sound cues.
Isolation Can Be Harmful
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by isolating yourself because of untreated hearing loss. Isolation of this sort has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, worry, and other mental health problems.
Being sensible about your hearing condition is the number one 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 making those weekly card games.