Even now you’re missing calls. Sometimes, it’s that you can’t hear the phone ringing. Other times, you just don’t want to go through the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But you’re staying away from more than simply phone calls. Last week you missed pickleball with friends. This kind of thing has been happening more and more. Your starting to feel a little isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t really figured out how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. Trading loneliness for camaraderie may take some work. But we have a few things you can try to do it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
Sometimes you aren’t quite 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. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them in good working order are also important first steps.
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 when people look at you it’s not likely they will notice that you have hearing loss. To your people around you, your turn towards isolation could seem to be anti-social. If you tell people that you are having a tough time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Making certain your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing exams is also important. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you may feel. But there are several more steps you can take to tackle isolation.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are a lot of individuals who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you communicate your hearing loss more intentionally to others. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with custom artwork or decorations. You will persuade people to be more considerate when conversing with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Help
If you aren’t properly treating your hearing condition it will be a lot harder to cope with your hearing loss or tinnitus. Management could be very different depending on the situation. But usually, it means wearing hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And even something that basic can make a real difference in your day-to-day life.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never fun to get yelled at. But individuals with hearing impairment frequently deal with people who think that this is the best way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s essential that you advocate for what you need from people close to you. Perhaps texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everybody can get on the same page, you’re not as likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Pathway
In this time of internet-driven food delivery, it would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s the reason why you can steer clear of isolation by intentionally putting yourself in situations where there will be people. Shop at your local grocery store instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Schedule game night with friends. Social activities should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as simple as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a good way to see other people. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and discern words correctly.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than limiting your social life by isolating yourself because of untreated hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been connected to this type of isolation.
Being realistic 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, acknowledge the truths, and stay in sync with family and friends.