You’re missing phone calls now. , it’s that you can’t hear the phone ring. In other cases dealing with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But you’re staying away from more than just phone calls. You skipped last week’s pickleball game, too. This kind of thing has been taking place more and more. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
The real cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. Your diminishing hearing is resulting in something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t figure out what to do about it. Trading solitude for camaraderie may take some work. But if you want to make it happen, here are a number of things you can do.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In a good number of cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t quite certain what the root cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. That could mean making an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making it a point to keep those hearing aids maintained.
Recognition might also take the form of alerting people in your life about your hearing loss. In a way, hearing loss is a type of invisible condition. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So it’s not something anyone will likely notice just by looking at you. To your people around you, your turn towards isolation could seem to be anti-social. If you tell people that you are having a difficult time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Getting regular hearing aid exams to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you might feel. But you can deal with isolation with several more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
Most people think that a smaller more invisible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But it could be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you convey your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some people even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with customized art or decorations. By making it more obvious, you encourage other people to do you the courtesy of looking at you when they speak with you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get Professional Help
Coping with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be a lot more difficult if you aren’t properly treating that hearing condition. Treatment could be very different depending on the situation. But often, it means using hearing aids (or making sure that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And your daily life can be greatly impacted by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting shouted at is never fun. But people with hearing impairment frequently deal with individuals who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you need from people around you. Maybe rather than calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next get together. If everyone is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this age of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everybody for good. That’s the reason why purposely putting people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local supermarket. Set up game night with your friends. Make those plans part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. There are so many easy ways to see people such as walking around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and discern words correctly.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
If you’re separating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Isolation of this sort has been connected to mental decline, depression, worry, and other mental health issues.
So the best way to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be realistic about your hearing ailment, acknowledge the truths, and do what you can to ensure you’re showing up for those weekly card games.