Even now you’re missing phone calls. On occasion, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ringing. Other times, you just don’t want to go through the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But you’re staying away from more than simply phone calls. You skipped last week’s pickleball game, too. More and more frequently, this sort of thing has been happening. Your starting to feel a little isolated.
The real cause, obviously, is your hearing loss. You haven’t quite determined how to assimilate your diminishing ability to hear into your daily life, and it’s leading to something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. Escaping isolation and getting back to being social can be difficult. But we have a few things you can try to achieve it.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t entirely sure what the underlying cause is. So, recognizing your hearing loss is an important first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them in good working order are also important first steps.
Recognition may also take the form of telling people in your life about your hearing loss. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an invisible health condition. Someone who is hard of hearing doesn’t have a specific “look”.
So when somebody looks at you it’s not likely they will notice that you have hearing loss. To your friends and co-workers, your turn towards isolation could feel anti-social. Talking about 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 Kept Secret
An essential first step is being honest with yourself and others regarding your hearing loss. Getting regular hearing aid examinations to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also essential. And curbing your first inclinations toward isolation can also help. But there are several more steps you can take to combat isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
There are a lot of individuals who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you communicate your hearing loss more deliberately to others. Some people even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized art or designs. You will persuade people to be more considerate when talking with you by making it more apparent that you have hearing loss.
Get The Correct Treatment
Dealing with your hearing loss or tinnitus 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 wearing or properly adjusting hearing aids is usually a common factor. And your day-to-day life can be greatly impacted by something even this basic.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
Getting shouted at is never enjoyable. But there are some individuals who assume that’s the best way to communicate with someone who suffers from hearing impairment. That’s why it’s essential that you advocate for what you require from those close to you. Perhaps 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
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s why intentionally putting people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local grocery store. Gather for a weekly game of cards. Make those activities a part of your calendar in an intentional and scheduled way. Even something as simple as going for a walk through your neighborhood can be a great way to see other people. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Dangerous
If you’re isolating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment, you’re doing more than curtailing your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been linked to this sort of isolation.
So the best way for you to keep your social life going 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 guarantee you’re showing up for those regular card games.