Even now you’re missing phone calls. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. On other occasions, you just don’t want to deal with the annoyance of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But you’re staying away from more than just phone calls. You skipped last week’s softball game, too. More and more frequently, this kind of thing has been taking place. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, of course, the root cause. You haven’t quite figured out how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your everyday life, and it’s resulting in something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading solitude for friendship might take a little bit of work. But if you want to do it, here are a number of things you can do.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Sometimes you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to happen. So, noticing 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 important first steps.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. In a way, hearing loss is a kind of invisible affliction. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So it isn’t something anybody will likely notice just by looking at you. To your people around you, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your reactions in a different context.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an important first step. Getting regular hearing aid exams to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And it might help curb some of the first isolationist inclinations you might feel. But you can overcome isolation with several more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are lots of people who place a premium on 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 deliberately to others. Some people even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with customized artwork or designs. You will motivate people to be more considerate when conversing with you by making it more apparent that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Help
If you aren’t properly treating your hearing condition it will be a lot harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. Treatment could look very different depending on the person. But usually, it means wearing hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are properly adjusted). And even something that simple can make a huge difference in your daily life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never fun. But people with hearing impairment routinely deal with people who think that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Perhaps rather than calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to avoid everyone in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why intentionally putting people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local supermarket. Schedule game night with your friends. Social activities should be arranged on your calendar. Even something as basic as going for a walk through your neighborhood can be a good way to see other people. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain continue to process sound cues and identify words precisely.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
Your doing more than limiting your social life by isolating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this sort of isolation.
Being realistic about your hearing problem is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life going in the right direction, recognize the truths, and stay in sync with friends and family.