You’re missing calls now. On occasion, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ring. Other times, you simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But you’re avoiding more than simply phone calls. You missed out on last week’s bowling night, too. This type of thing has been happening more and more. You can’t help but feel a little… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, of course, the real cause. Your diminishing ability to hear is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t figure out what to do about it. Trading loneliness for camaraderie may take a little bit of work. But if you want to make it happen, here are some things you can do.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is The First Step
In many cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t quite certain what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. That might mean making an appointment with a hearing professional, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids in working order.
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. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So it’s not something anyone will likely recognize just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. If you tell people that you are having a difficult time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid checks to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also essential. And it may help curb some of the first isolationist tendencies you might feel. But there are several more steps you can take to fight isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
The majority of people feel like 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 experiencing. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with custom artwork or decorations. You will motivate people to be more considerate when conversing with you by making it more apparent that you have hearing loss.
Get The Appropriate Treatment
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be a lot harder to cope with your hearing loss or tinnitus. Treatment methods could be very different depending on the situation. But wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is usually a common factor. And even something that basic can make a substantial difference in your daily life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never enjoyable to get shouted at. But there are some individuals who believe that’s the preferred way to communicate with someone who suffers from hearing loss. That’s why it’s essential that you advocate for what you require from people around you. Perhaps texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everybody is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Pathway
It’s easy to avoid everyone in the age of the internet. That’s why you can avoid isolation by deliberately putting yourself in situations where there are people. Shop at 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 basic as going for a walk through your neighborhood can be a good 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.
Solitude Can Be Dangerous
If you’re isolating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been linked to this sort of isolation.
Being realistic about your hearing problem is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, acknowledge the truths, and do what you can to ensure you’re making those regular card games.