You’re missing telephone calls now. , it’s that you don’t hear the phone ring. On other occasions, you simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re avoiding. Last week you missed pickleball with friends. This sort of thing has been happening more and more. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the root cause. You haven’t quite figured out how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your daily life, and it’s resulting in something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading solitude for friendship may take a little bit of work. But if you want to do it, here are a number of things you can do.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
In many cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite sure what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. Scheduling an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them well maintained are also strong first steps.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. There’s no particular way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So when somebody looks at you it’s not likely they will notice that you have hearing loss. Your friends might start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your responses in a different context.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Getting scheduled hearing aid checks to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also essential. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist tendencies you may feel. But there are a few more steps you can take to fight isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
Most people think that a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you convey your hearing loss more intentionally to others. Some people even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with customized art or decorations. You will motivate people to be more courteous when talking with you by making it more apparent that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Help
Dealing with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot more difficult if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing condition. Treatment could be very different depending on the person. But often, it means using hearing aids (or making sure that your hearing aids are properly adjusted). And even something that basic can make a substantial difference in your day-to-day life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But individuals with hearing impairment frequently deal with individuals who think that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s essential that you advocate for what you require from those close to you. Maybe rather than calling you via 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 in the loop.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
It’s easy to avoid everyone in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why purposely placing people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local supermarket. Gather for a weekly game of cards. Make those plans a part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. There are so many straight forward ways to run into people such as 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 precisely.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
If you’re isolating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Isolation of this sort has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health concerns.
Being practical about your hearing condition is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life going in the right direction, be realistic about your situation, and stay in sync with family and friends.