You’re missing calls now. On occasion, it’s that you can’t hear the phone ring. In other cases coping with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But you’re avoiding more than simply phone calls. You skipped last week’s bowling night, too. This type of thing has been taking place more and more. Your starting to feel somewhat isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. Your diminishing ability to hear is leading to something far too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Getting away from loneliness and back to being social can be complicated. But we have a number of 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 starts to happen. So, noticing your hearing loss is a big first step. Scheduling an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them well maintained are also important first steps.
Recognition could also take the form of telling people in your life about your loss of hearing. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. There’s no specific way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So it’s not something anyone will likely recognize just by looking at you. Your friends might start to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help those 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 regarding your hearing loss. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing checks 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 it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are plenty of individuals who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But if people could see your hearing aid they would have a better recognition of the struggle you are going through. Some people even customize their hearing aids with custom designs. By making it more obvious, you invite other people to do you the courtesy of facing you when they talk to you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation forward.
Get The Appropriate Treatment
Dealing with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be a lot harder if you aren’t properly treating that hearing condition. Treatment methods could be very different depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And your daily life can be greatly affected by something even this basic.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never fun. But individuals with hearing impairment regularly 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 essential. Maybe texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. You won’t be as likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this time of internet-based food delivery, it would be easy to avoid everybody for good. That’s why intentionally placing people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Go to your local grocery store rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Get together for a weekly game of cards. Make those plans a part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. There are lots of easy ways to run into people like walking around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and identify words correctly.
Solitude Can Be Hazardous
If you’re separating 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 mental health concerns.
Being sensible about your hearing condition is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life going in the right direction, be honest about your situation, and stay in sync with friends and family.