Even now you’re missing calls. Often times, it’s that you can’t hear the phone ring. In other cases dealing with the garbled voice at the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But you’re avoiding more than just phone calls. You missed last week’s pickleball game, too. More and more frequently, this type of thing has been happening. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. Your diminishing hearing is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Getting away from loneliness and back to being social can be challenging. But we have a number of things you can try to achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Sometimes you aren’t really certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to happen. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. That could mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making it a point to keep those hearing aids in working order.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So it’s not something anybody will likely notice just by looking at you. To your people around you, your turn towards isolation could seem to be anti-social. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your responses in a different context.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making certain your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing exams is also significant. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also help. But there are several more steps you can take to tackle isolation.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are plenty of individuals who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But if people could see your hearing aid they would have a better recognition of the struggle you are going through. Some individuals even customize their hearing aids with custom designs. You will persuade people to be more considerate when speaking with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Appropriate Treatment
Coping with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be much more difficult if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing condition. Treatment could be very different depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is often a common factor. And your day-to-day life can be greatly affected by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But individuals with hearing impairment regularly deal with individuals who think that this is the best way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you require from people close to you. Perhaps rather than calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next pickleball game. If everyone can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why intentionally putting people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local grocery store. Gather for a weekly game of cards. Make those activities part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. Even something as basic as taking a walk around your neighborhood can be a good way to see other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of neglected hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this type of isolation.
So the best way to keep your social life going and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be practical about your hearing ailment, acknowledge the truths, and do whatever you can to ensure you’re making those regular card games.