You’re missing telephone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. Other times, you just don’t want to deal with the annoyance of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it’s not just your phone you’re avoiding. You skipped last week’s darts league, too. This kind of thing has been taking place more and more. Your starting to feel somewhat isolated.
The real cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t really determined how to integrate your diminishing ability to hear into your everyday life, and it’s resulting in something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading loneliness for friendship might take a little bit of work. But if you want to realize it, here are some things you can try.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
Sometimes you aren’t quite sure what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to occur. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. That could mean making an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids in working order.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So when somebody looks at you it’s unlikely they will observe that you have hearing loss. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re going through and place your responses in a different context.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid examinations to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also important. And it might help curb some of the first isolationist tendencies you may feel. But there are a few more steps you can take to fight isolation.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
The majority of people think that a smaller more invisible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But if others could see your hearing aid they would have a better understanding of the difficulty you are living with. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with customized art or designs. By making it more obvious, you help other people to do you the courtesy of facing you when they talk to you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation forward.
Get Professional Help
Dealing with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t properly treating that hearing condition. What “treatment” looks like may fluctuate wildly from person to person. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And even something that basic can make a substantial difference in your daily life.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never fun to get yelled at. But people with hearing impairment regularly deal with individuals who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s essential that you advocate for what you require from people around you. Maybe texting to make plans would be better than calling. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone on the same page.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why intentionally placing people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Go to your local grocery store rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Schedule game night with friends. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. Even something as basic as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a good way to see other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
If you’re isolating yourself because of untreated hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Isolation of this type has been connected to mental decline, depression, worry, and other cognitive health concerns.
So the best way to keep your social life going and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be practical about your hearing ailment, be honest about your situation, and stay in sync with family and friends.