You’re missing telephone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. Other times, you just don’t want to go through the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But you’re staying away from more than just phone calls. You missed out on last week’s bowling night, too. More and more frequently, this sort of thing has been happening. You can’t help but 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. Escaping isolation and getting back to being social can be tricky. But we have a few things you can try to achieve it.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is The First Step
Sometimes you aren’t quite sure 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.
Telling people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. In a way, hearing loss is a type of invisible affliction. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when people look at you it’s unlikely they will notice that you have hearing loss. Your friends may start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Talking about your hearing loss can help those 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 telling the people around you about it–is an essential first step. Making certain your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing assessments is also significant. And it might help curb some of the initial isolationist inclinations you may feel. But there are a few more steps you can take to combat isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are plenty of individuals who value the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it might be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you convey your hearing loss more deliberately to others. Some individuals even customize their hearing aids with custom artwork. By making it more obvious, you encourage other people to do you the courtesy of looking at you when they talk to you and making sure you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get The Correct Treatment
Coping with your hearing loss or tinnitus is going to be much more difficult if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing condition. What “treatment” looks like could fluctuate wildly from person to person. But usually, it means using hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are properly adjusted). And your everyday life can be enormously impacted by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting yelled at is never fun. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the best way to communicate with someone who has hearing loss. So telling people how to best communicate with you is essential. Perhaps texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. If everyone is in the loop, you’re not as likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to stay away from everybody in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why you can steer clear of isolation by deliberately placing yourself in situations where there will be people. Shop at your local grocery store instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Schedule game night with your friends. Social events should be scheduled on your calendar. Even something as basic as going for a walk around your neighborhood can be a great way to run into other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and continue to process sound cues.
Isolation Can Be Hazardous
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by isolating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Isolation of this type has been connected to cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.
So the best way for you to keep your social life humming along and keep yourself happy and healthy at the same time is to be realistic about your hearing ailment, acknowledge the truths, and remain in sync with friends and family.