You’re missing calls now. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. In other cases dealing with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But it isn’t just your phone you’re avoiding. You missed out on last week’s pickleball game, too. More and more often, this kind of thing has been taking place. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. Your diminishing ability to hear is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Trading solitude for camaraderie may take a little bit of work. But if you want to realize it, here are a few things you can do.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
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. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them in good working order are also strong first steps.
Recognition could also take the form of alerting people in your life about your loss of hearing. In a way, hearing loss is a kind of invisible ailment. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when people look at you it’s not likely they will observe that you have hearing loss. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. If you tell people that you are having a difficult time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Getting scheduled hearing aid checks to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist tendencies you may feel. But you can combat isolation with several more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
Most people feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But it might be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you relate your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with customized artwork or designs. By making it more noticeable, you help 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
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 often, it means using hearing aids (or making sure that your hearing aids are correctly calibrated). And your day-to-day life can be greatly affected by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never enjoyable to get shouted at. But individuals with hearing loss routinely deal with individuals who think that this is the best way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s vital that you advocate for what you need from those around you. Perhaps rather than calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why you can avoid isolation by purposely placing yourself in situations where there will be people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local supermarket. Set up game night with your friends. Social activities should be arranged on your calendar. Even something as simple as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and continue to process sound cues.
Isolation Can Be Dangerous
If you’re isolating yourself because of untreated hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been linked to this sort of isolation.
Being practical about your hearing condition is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life going in the right direction, recognize the truths, and do whatever you can to guarantee you’re making those regular card games.