Even now you’re missing phone calls. Sometimes, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. Other times dealing with the garbled voice at the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re avoiding. You missed last week’s pickleball game, too. More and more often, this sort of thing has been happening. Your starting to feel a little isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real 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. Trading loneliness for companionship could take a little bit of work. But if you want to realize it, here are some things you can do.
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, noticing your hearing loss is a big first step. That could mean scheduling an appointment with a hearing professional, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids maintained.
Recognition could also take the form of telling people in your life about your hearing loss. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when people look at you it’s unlikely they will detect 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 those around you understand what you’re going through and place your responses in a different context.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making certain your hearing stays consistent by having regular hearing exams is also important. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also help. But there are a few 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 if people could see your hearing aid they might have a better recognition of the struggle you are experiencing. Some people even personalize their hearing aids with custom designs. You will motivate people to be more considerate when talking with you by making it more apparent that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Treatment
If you aren’t correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be a lot harder to cope with your tinnitus or hearing loss. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly depending on the situation. 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 real difference in your day-to-day life.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting shouted at is never fun. But people with hearing loss routinely deal with people who feel that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is important. Perhaps texting to make plans would be better than calling. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone on the same page.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this age of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid all people for all time. That’s why purposely placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Go to your local supermarket rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Schedule game night with your friends. Social events should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as basic as taking a walk through your neighborhood can be a good way to see other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
If you’re isolating yourself because of untreated hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Isolation of this sort has been connected to mental decline, depression, worry, and other mental health issues.
Being sensible 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, acknowledge the truths, and stay in sync with family and friends.