Even now you’re missing calls. On occasion, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ring. Other times dealing with the garbled voice at the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But it’s not simply your phone you’re avoiding. Last week you missed basketball with friends. More and more frequently, this type of thing has been taking place. Your starting to feel a little isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the root cause. You haven’t really determined how to incorporate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too common: social isolation. Escaping isolation and getting back to being social can be challenging. But we have a few things you can try to achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Often you aren’t really certain what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to occur. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them properly maintained are also important first steps.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards recognition. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. There’s no specific way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So it isn’t something anybody will likely recognize just by looking at you. To your people around you, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your reactions in a different context.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by having regular hearing assessments is also important. And it may help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you may feel. But you can overcome isolation with several more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are a lot of people who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it could be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you communicate your hearing loss more deliberately to others. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized artwork or decorations. You will motivate people to be more considerate when conversing with you by making it more obvious that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Treatment
Dealing with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing condition. Treatment methods could be very different depending on the person. But usually, it means using hearing aids (or ensuring that your hearing aids are correctly adjusted). And your everyday life can be enormously impacted by something even this basic.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting yelled at is never enjoyable. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the preferred way to communicate with somebody who has hearing impairment. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is vital. Perhaps instead of calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next get together. If everyone is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Pathway
In this time of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everyone for good. That’s the reason why purposely putting people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local supermarket. Meet up for a weekly game of cards. Social events should be arranged on your calendar. There are so many simple 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 correctly.
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 mental decline, depression, anxiety, and other cognitive health concerns.
So the best path to keep your social life going and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be practical about your hearing ailment, acknowledge the truths, and do whatever you can to guarantee you’re making those weekly card games.