Even now you’re missing calls. sometimes, it’s that you can’t hear the phone ringing. Other times, you just don’t want to go through the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re shunning. Last week you missed basketball with friends. This type of thing has been taking place more and more. Your beginning to feel somewhat isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. Your diminishing ability to hear is resulting in something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Getting away from loneliness and back to being social can be complicated. But we have a few things you can try to make it happen.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is The First Step
Sometimes you aren’t really sure what the cause of your social isolation is when it first starts to happen. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. That could mean making an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making it a point to keep those hearing aids in working order.
Acknowledgment may also take the form of telling people in your life about your hearing loss. In many ways, hearing loss is a kind of invisible ailment. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So it’s not something people will likely recognize just by looking at you. Your friends might start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you tell people that you are having a difficult time hearing, your reactions 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 regular hearing aid checks to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And it may help curb some of the first isolationist tendencies you may feel. But you can combat isolation with several more steps.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
The majority of people feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you relate your hearing impairment more deliberately to others. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized artwork or decorations. You will motivate people to be more courteous when talking with you by making it more obvious that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Help
If you aren’t effectively treating your hearing ailment it will be a lot harder to deal with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like could vary wildly from person to person. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is usually a common factor. And your day-to-day life can be substantially affected by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the preferred way to communicate with someone who has hearing impairment. That’s why it’s vital that you advocate for what you require from people close to you. Perhaps instead of calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next get together. 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 intentionally placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Go to your local grocery store instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Set up game night with friends. Make those plans a part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. Even something as straight forward as going for a walk around your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and identify words correctly.
It Can be Dangerous 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 kind has been connected to mental decline, depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems.
Being realistic about your hearing problem is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, be honest about your situation, and remain in sync with family and friends.