You’re missing phone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. Other times dealing with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But it’s not simply your phone you’re staying away from. You missed out on last week’s softball game, too. More and more frequently, this kind of thing has been taking place. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. You haven’t really determined how to integrate your diminishing ability to hear into your everyday 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 make it happen.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Often you aren’t quite certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to happen. So, recognizing 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 many ways, hearing loss is a type of invisible affliction. There’s no specific way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So when somebody looks at you it’s not likely they will detect that you have hearing loss. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could seem to be anti-social. Talking about your hearing loss can help people 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 scheduled hearing aid examinations to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also important. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also be helpful. But you can deal with isolation with several more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are lots of people who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But if people could see your hearing aid they might have a better understanding of the difficulty you are living with. Some people even individualize their hearing aids with custom artwork. You will persuade people to be more courteous when talking with you by making it more apparent that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Treatment
If you aren’t correctly treating your hearing condition it will be quite a bit harder to deal with your tinnitus or hearing loss. Management could look very different depending on the situation. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is often a common factor. And your day-to-day life can be greatly affected by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never enjoyable to get shouted at. But people with hearing loss routinely deal with individuals who think that this is the best way to communicate with them. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is important. Perhaps rather than calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next get together. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Pathway
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why you can steer clear of isolation by deliberately putting yourself in situations where there will be people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local grocery store. Schedule 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 like walking around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain continue to process sound cues and identify words correctly.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
If you’re separating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Isolation of this sort has been connected to cognitive decline, depression, worry, and other cognitive health issues.
Being sensible 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 do whatever you can to guarantee you’re making those weekly card games.