Even now you’re missing phone calls. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. Other times, you simply don’t want to go through the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But you’re staying away from more than simply phone calls. Last week you skipped a round of golf with friends. More and more often, this kind of thing has been taking place. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t quite determined how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. Escaping isolation and getting back to being social can be challenging. But we have a number of things you can try to do 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 occur. So, noticing your hearing loss is an important first step. That might mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids in working order.
Recognition might also take the form of alerting people in your life about your hearing loss. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when somebody looks at you it’s unlikely they will detect that you have hearing loss. Your friends might start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you let people know that you are having a tough time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid exams to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And it may help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you may feel. But you can combat isolation with several more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are a lot of people who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it might be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you convey your hearing loss more intentionally to others. Some individuals even customize their hearing aids with custom artwork. You will persuade people to be more courteous when conversing with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Treatment
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing condition it will be a lot harder to deal with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly from person to person. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And your everyday life can be enormously impacted by something even this simple.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But people with hearing loss frequently deal with people who think that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is vital. Maybe instead of calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. If everyone is in the loop, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this time of internet-based food delivery, it would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s the reason why you can steer clear of isolation by purposely putting yourself in situations where there are people. Shop at your local supermarket rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Set up game night with friends. Make those plans part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. There are lots of simple ways to run into people such as walking around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and identify words precisely.
Solitude Can Be Hazardous
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by isolating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment. 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 at the same time is to be realistic about your hearing condition, be honest about your situation, and remain in sync with family and friends.