Even now you’re missing phone calls. On occasion, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. Other times coping with the garbled voice on the other end is simply too much of a hassle.
But it’s not simply your phone you’re staying away from. Last week you missed basketball with friends. This sort of thing has been happening more and more. Your beginning to feel a little isolated.
The real cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. Your diminishing ability to hear is leading to something all too common: social isolation – and you can’t understand what to do about it. Trading loneliness for camaraderie could take a little bit of work. But we have a few things you can try to achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
Often you aren’t quite sure what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to happen. So, recognizing your hearing loss is a big first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them properly maintained are also important first steps.
Recognition may also take the form of alerting people in your life about your hearing loss. In a way, hearing loss is a type of invisible condition. There’s no particular way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So when people look at you it’s not likely they will detect that you have hearing loss. Your friends might begin to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re going through and place your reactions in a different context.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t Be a Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and informing the people around you about it–is an important first step. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing exams is also significant. And it may help curb some of the first isolationist tendencies you may feel. But you can deal with isolation with several more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
The majority of people feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But if others could see your hearing aid they would have a better understanding of the difficulty you are living with. Some people even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with custom art or decorations. By making it more noticeable, you encourage other people to do you the courtesy of facing you when they talk to you and making certain you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get The Right Treatment
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing condition it will be much harder to cope with your hearing loss or tinnitus. Treatment methods could look very different depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is usually a common factor. And even something that basic can make a significant difference in your everyday life.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But people with hearing impairment frequently 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 on the same page.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why purposely putting people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local supermarket. Schedule game night with your friends. Make those plans a part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. There are so many simple ways to see people such as taking a walk around your neighborhood. This will help you feel less isolated, but will also help your brain keep processing sound cues and identify words precisely.
It Can be Harmful to Become Isolated
If you’re separating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental concerns have been linked to this type of isolation.
So the best way to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be realistic about your hearing condition, recognize the truths, and do what you can to ensure you’re making those weekly card games.