You’re missing telephone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. On other occasions, you simply don’t want to deal with the annoyance of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But it’s not just your phone you’re shunning. You missed out on last week’s darts league, too. More and more frequently, this sort of thing has been taking place. Your starting to feel a little isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. You haven’t really determined how to incorporate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading loneliness for friendship might take a little bit of work. But if you want to do it, here are some things you can try.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite sure what the root cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them well maintained are also strong first steps.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. In a way, hearing loss is a type of invisible affliction. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So it’s not something people will likely recognize just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. Talking about your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re going through and place your responses in a different context.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be Kept Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting regular hearing aid exams to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also important. And it may help curb some of the first isolationist inclinations you might feel. But you can overcome isolation with a few more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are a lot of people who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you communicate your hearing loss more intentionally to others. Some people even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized art or decorations. You will motivate people to be more courteous when conversing with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Correct Treatment
Dealing with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t correctly treating that hearing ailment. Treatment could be very different depending on the person. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is often a common factor. And your day-to-day life can be substantially impacted by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But there are some individuals who believe that’s the preferred way to communicate with someone who has hearing loss. That’s why it’s vital that you advocate for what you need from those close to you. Perhaps rather than calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. If everyone can get on the same page, you’re not as likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Pathway
It’s easy to stay away from everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why you can steer clear of isolation by purposely placing yourself in situations where there are people. Shop at your local supermarket rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Set up game night with friends. Social activities should be arranged on your calendar. There are lots of easy ways to run into people such as walking around your neighborhood. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Hazardous
If you’re separating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been connected to this kind of isolation.
So the best way for you to keep your social life going and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be practical about your hearing ailment, recognize the truths, and do whatever you can to guarantee you’re making those weekly card games.