Even now you’re missing phone calls. On occasion, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. In other cases coping with the garbled voice on the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But you’re shunning more than just phone calls. You missed last week’s darts league, too. This type of thing has been happening more and more. Your starting to feel a little isolated.
Your hearing loss is, of course, the real cause. Your diminishing hearing is leading to something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t determine what to do about it. Trading loneliness for camaraderie could take some work. But we have a number of things you can try to achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In many cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t quite sure what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. That might mean making an appointment with a hearing professional, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids in working order.
Acknowledgment may also take the form of alerting people in your life about your loss of hearing. In a way, hearing loss is a type of invisible ailment. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when somebody looks at you it’s not likely they will detect that you have hearing loss. Your friends may start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you tell people that you are having a hard time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Making sure your hearing stays consistent by getting regular hearing assessments is also significant. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you might feel. But there are a few more steps you can take to tackle isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
The majority of people feel like 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 communicate your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some people even customize their hearing aids with custom designs. By making it more noticeable, you encourage other people to do you the courtesy of looking at you when they speak with you and making sure you understand before moving the conversation forward.
Get Professional Help
Dealing with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t correctly treating that hearing ailment. Treatment methods could look very different depending on the situation. But normally, it means using hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And your everyday life can be enormously impacted by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting shouted at is never fun. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the best way to communicate with someone who suffers from hearing loss. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Maybe rather than calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next pickleball game. 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 would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s why intentionally placing people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local supermarket. Schedule game night with your friends. Social activities should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as basic as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and identify words precisely.
Isolation Can Be Harmful
If you’re separating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this kind of isolation.
Being realistic about your hearing problem is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, be honest about your situation, and do what you can to ensure you’re showing up for those regular card games.