Even now you’re missing calls. You don’t hear the phone ringing 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 you’re avoiding more than simply phone calls. Last week you skipped pickleball with friends. More and more often, this kind of thing has been taking place. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. You haven’t really determined how to incorporate your diminishing ability to hear into your daily life, and it’s triggering something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. Trading loneliness for friendship may take a little bit of work. But we have a number of things you can try to achieve it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is Step Number One
In many cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite certain what the root cause is. 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 strong first steps.
Recognition might also take the form of alerting people in your life about your loss of hearing. In a way, hearing loss is a kind of invisible ailment. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when somebody looks at you it’s not likely they will detect that you have hearing loss. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could seem to be anti-social. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re going through and place your reactions in a different context.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Getting scheduled hearing aid exams to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also essential. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also be helpful. But you can overcome isolation with several more steps.
Make it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are plenty of individuals who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it might be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you convey your hearing loss more deliberately to others. Some people even customize their hearing aids with custom artwork. You will encourage people to be more considerate when talking with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Help
Dealing with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot more difficult if you aren’t correctly treating that hearing condition. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly from person to person. But usually, it means wearing hearing aids (or making sure that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And your day-to-day life can be substantially impacted by something even this basic.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never enjoyable to get shouted at. But there are some people who believe that’s the best way to communicate with somebody who suffers from hearing loss. That’s why it’s vital that you advocate for what you need from those close to you. Maybe rather than calling you on the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next pickleball game. If everybody is in the loop, you’re less likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
In this age of internet-based food delivery, it would be easy to avoid all people for all time. That’s the reason why you can steer clear of isolation by deliberately placing yourself in situations where there will be people. Go to your local supermarket rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Schedule game night with your friends. Make those plans part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. There are so many easy ways to see people like 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 Dangerous to Become Isolated
If you’re separating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment, you’re doing more than limiting your social life. Isolation of this type has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, worry, and other mental health issues.
Being practical about your hearing problem is the number one way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, be honest about your situation, and remain in sync with friends and family.