You’re missing telephone 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 just too much of a hassle.
But you’re avoiding more than simply phone calls. You missed out on last week’s softball game, too. This kind of thing has been occurring more and more. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the root cause. You haven’t quite determined how to integrate your diminishing ability to hear into your everyday life, and it’s resulting in something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading loneliness for companionship might take a little bit of work. But we have a number of things you can try to do it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In many cases, social isolation first manifests 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 in good working order are also important first steps.
Telling 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 has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when somebody looks at you it’s unlikely they will notice that you have hearing loss. Your friends may begin to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you let people know that you are having a difficult time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Making certain your hearing stays consistent by having regular hearing exams is also essential. And it might help curb some of the first isolationist tendencies you may feel. But there are a few more steps you can take to fight isolation.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
The majority of people think that a smaller more invisible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But it might be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you convey your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some people even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with custom art or decorations. You will encourage people to be more courteous when conversing with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Right Treatment
If you’re not effectively treating your hearing condition it will be much harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. Management could be very different depending on the person. But often, it means wearing hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And even something that basic can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never fun. But people with hearing impairment routinely deal with people who think that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s vital that you advocate for what you need from those close to you. Maybe rather than calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Path
In this time of internet-driven food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everyone for good. That’s the reason why purposely placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Go to your local grocery store rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Meet up for a weekly game of cards. Social events should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as straight forward as going for a walk around your neighborhood can be a good way to run into other people. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and to keep processing sound cues.
Isolation Can Be Dangerous
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by isolating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this type of isolation.
So the best path to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be practical about your hearing ailment, be realistic about your situation, and do whatever you can to guarantee you’re making those weekly card games.