Even now you’re missing phone calls. Often times, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ring. In other cases dealing with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But you’re shunning more than just phone calls. You skipped last week’s bowling night, too. More and more often, this sort of thing has been taking place. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the root cause. Your diminishing ability to hear is resulting in something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t decide what to do about it. Getting away from loneliness and back to being social can be complicated. But if you want to do it, here are a number of things you can do.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is The First Step
Often you aren’t quite certain 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 might mean making an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making it a point to keep those hearing aids maintained.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So it isn’t something anybody will likely notice just by looking at you. Your friends might start to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you let people know that you are having a tough time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be Kept Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing exams is also important. 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 tackle isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
The majority of people think that a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal choice. But if people could see your hearing aid they would have a better understanding of the struggle you are living with. Some individuals even customize their hearing aids with custom designs. By making it more obvious, you encourage other people to do you the courtesy of facing you when they talk to you and making sure you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get Professional Treatment
Dealing with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be much harder if you aren’t properly treating that hearing ailment. Treatment could be very different depending on the person. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is usually a common factor. And your daily life can be substantially impacted by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never fun to get yelled at. But there are some people who believe that’s the preferred way to communicate with somebody who suffers from hearing impairment. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Maybe rather than calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. If everybody can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to stay away from everyone in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why you can avoid isolation by deliberately putting yourself in situations where there will be people. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local supermarket. Meet up for a weekly card game. Social activities should be arranged on your calendar. Even something as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and to keep processing sound cues.
Isolation Can Be Dangerous
If you’re separating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment, you’re doing more than limiting your social life. Isolation of this kind has been connected to mental decline, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Being practical about your hearing problem is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, recognize the truths, and stay in sync with family and friends.