Even now you’re missing calls. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. On other occasions, you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But it’s not just your phone you’re staying away from. Last week you missed pickleball with friends. More and more frequently, this sort of thing has been occurring. Your beginning to 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 widespread: social isolation. Trading solitude for camaraderie might take some work. 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, noticing 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 it a point to keep those hearing aids in working order.
Recognition may also take the form of telling people in your life about your hearing loss. In a way, hearing loss is a type of invisible affliction. There’s no specific way to “look” like you’re hard of hearing.
So it’s not something anybody will likely recognize just by looking at you. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. If you let people know that you are having a difficult time hearing, your responses will be easier to understand.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid examinations to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also be helpful. But there are a few more steps you can take to combat 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 people could see your hearing aid they would have a better understanding of the difficulty you are living with. Some people even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with custom art or designs. You will motivate people to be more courteous when talking with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get The Correct Treatment
Dealing with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be much more difficult if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing ailment. Management could be very different depending on the person. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And your day-to-day life can be enormously affected by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But people with hearing loss regularly deal with individuals who think that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s vital 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 in the loop.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
It’s easy to stay away from everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why intentionally putting people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local grocery store. Meet up for a weekly card game. Make those plans part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. There are lots of simple ways to run into people like walking around your neighborhood. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Dangerous
Your doing more than limiting your social life by isolating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment. Isolation of this sort has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, worry, and other cognitive health issues.
So the best way to keep your social life going and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be realistic about your hearing condition, be honest about your situation, and do whatever you can to guarantee you’re making those regular card games.