You’re missing calls now. On occasion, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. In other cases dealing with the garbled voice at the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But it’s not just your phone you’re staying away from. You missed out on last week’s darts league, too. This kind of thing has been occurring more and more. Your beginning to feel a little isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. Your diminishing ability to hear is leading to something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t figure out what to do about it. Getting away from loneliness and back to being social can be tricky. But if you want to do it, here are some things you can do.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In many cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite sure what the root cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. Scheduling an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them well maintained are also important 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 specific “look”.
So it isn’t something anybody will likely recognize just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. If you tell people that you are having a hard time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing exams is also significant. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also help. But there are a few more steps you can take to combat isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
The majority of people think that a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But it could be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you relate your hearing impairment more intentionally to others. Some people even individualize their hearing aids with custom designs. You will encourage people to be more courteous when speaking with you by making it more obvious that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Help
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be much harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly depending on the situation. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And your day-to-day life can be enormously impacted by something even this basic.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never fun. But individuals with hearing impairment routinely deal with individuals who think that this is the best way to communicate with them. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Perhaps texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone on the same page.
Put People In Your Pathway
It’s easy to stay away from everyone in the age of the internet. That’s why you can steer clear of isolation by deliberately putting yourself in situations where there are people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local supermarket. Set up game night with your friends. Make those activities part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. There are lots of straight forward ways to run into people like taking a walk around your neighborhood. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and to keep processing sound cues.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of untreated hearing loss. 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 going and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be realistic about your hearing ailment, be honest about your situation, and remain in sync with friends and family.