You’re missing calls now. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. Other times, you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re avoiding. Last week you missed a round of golf with friends. This sort of thing has been occurring more and more. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
The root cause, of course, is your loss of hearing. Your diminishing hearing is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t decide what to do about it. Trading solitude for friendship might take a little bit of work. But if you want to realize it, here are a number of things you can do.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In many cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t entirely sure what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. That might mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids in working order.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. In many ways, hearing loss is a type of invisible affliction. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So it isn’t something anybody will likely pick up on just by looking at you. Your friends may start to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your responses in a different context.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Making sure your hearing stays consistent by having regular hearing checks is also significant. And it might help curb some of the first isolationist inclinations 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 feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you convey your hearing impairment more intentionally to others. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with custom art or decorations. You will encourage people to be more considerate when speaking with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Right Treatment
If you aren’t effectively treating your hearing condition it will be much harder to deal with your hearing loss or tinnitus. Treatment could look very different depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is usually 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
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But there are some people who assume that’s the preferred way to communicate with someone who has hearing impairment. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you need from those close to you. 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 Yourself in Social Situations
In this time of internet-driven food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everybody for good. That’s why purposely placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Shop at your local supermarket instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Set up game night with your friends. Social activities should be scheduled on your calendar. There are lots of simple ways to run into people such as walking around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain continue to process sound cues and identify words precisely.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than limiting your social life by isolating yourself because of untreated hearing loss. Isolation of this kind has been connected to mental decline, depression, worry, and other mental health concerns.
So the best way for you to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be realistic about your hearing condition, recognize the truths, and remain in sync with friends and family.