You’re missing telephone calls now. , it’s that you don’t hear the phone ring. Other times coping with the garbled voice at the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But you’re staying away from more than just phone calls. Last week you missed basketball with friends. More and more often, this kind of thing has been happening. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. Your diminishing hearing is leading to something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Escaping isolation and getting back to being social can be complicated. But we have a few things you can try to make it happen.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Sometimes you aren’t quite sure what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to happen. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. That might mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing professional, 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 recognition. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So it isn’t something people will likely pick up on just by looking at you. To your people around you, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. Talking about your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your reactions in a different context.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Making certain your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing assessments is also significant. And it may help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you may feel. But there are several more steps you can take to fight isolation.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
Most people feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But it might be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you relate your hearing impairment more intentionally to others. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized art or decorations. You will encourage people to be more considerate when speaking with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Help
If you’re not effectively treating your hearing condition it will be much harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly from person to person. But usually, it means using hearing aids (or making sure that your hearing aids are correctly calibrated). And your day-to-day life can be greatly affected by something even this simple.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never fun to get yelled at. But individuals with hearing impairment frequently deal with people who feel that this is the best way to communicate with them. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is vital. Maybe texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everybody is in the loop, you’re less likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this time of internet-driven food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everyone for good. That’s why intentionally putting people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, shop at your local grocery store. Meet up for a weekly game of cards. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. There are lots of straight forward ways to run into people like taking a walk around your neighborhood. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
Your doing more than limiting your social life by isolating yourself because of neglected hearing loss. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this kind of isolation.
Being practical about your hearing problem is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life going in the right direction, recognize the truths, and do what you can to guarantee you’re making those regular card games.