Even now you’re missing phone calls. Sometimes, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. On other occasions, you simply don’t want to go through the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it’s not just your phone you’re staying away from. You skipped last week’s bowling night, too. This sort of thing has been happening more and more. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, of course, the real cause. Your diminishing hearing is resulting in something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t decide what to do about it. Trading loneliness for companionship could take some work. But we have a few things you can try to achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Often you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to occur. So, noticing your hearing loss is an important first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them properly maintained are also important first steps.
Recognition might also take the form of telling people in your life about your hearing loss. In a way, hearing loss is a type of invisible affliction. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So it isn’t something people will likely notice just by looking at you. Your friends may begin to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Talking about 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 regarding your hearing loss. Getting regular hearing aid checks to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And it may help curb some of the first isolationist tendencies you might feel. But you can deal with isolation with several more steps.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are a lot of people who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But if others could see your hearing aid they would have a better recognition of the struggle you are living with. Some people even customize their hearing aids with custom designs. By making it more obvious, you encourage 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 forward.
Get Professional Help
If you’re not effectively treating your hearing ailment it will be quite a bit harder to cope with your hearing loss or tinnitus. Treatment methods could be very different depending on the person. But usually, it means using hearing aids (or making sure that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And your day-to-day life can be greatly impacted by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting shouted 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 important that you advocate for what you need from people around you. Perhaps texting to make plans would be better than calling. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone on the same page.
Put People In Your Pathway
It’s easy to avoid everyone in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why you can avoid isolation by intentionally putting yourself in situations where there are people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local grocery store. Meet up for a weekly game of cards. Social events should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as basic as taking a walk around your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Hazardous
If you’re isolating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than limiting your social life. Isolation of this sort has been linked to mental decline, depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
So the best path to keep your social life going and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be practical about your hearing condition, recognize the truths, and stay in sync with friends and family.