You’re missing telephone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. Other times, you simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely comprehend.
But it isn’t simply your phone you’re staying away from. You skipped last week’s darts league, too. More and more frequently, this sort of thing has been occurring. Your starting to feel somewhat isolated.
The root cause, of course, is your hearing loss. 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 friendship may take a little bit of work. But if you want to make it happen, here are some things you can try.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
In many cases, social isolation first occurs when you aren’t quite certain what the underlying cause is. So, noticing your hearing loss is a big first step. That could mean making an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids maintained.
Acknowledgment may 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’re hard of hearing.
So it’s not something anybody will likely pick up on just by looking at you. Your friends might start to think your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. If you let people know that you are having a tough time hearing, your reactions will be easier to understand.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an important first step. Getting scheduled hearing aid examinations to make certain your hearing hasn’t changed is also important. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also be helpful. But there are a few more steps you can take to fight isolation.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
Most people feel like a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But it could be that making your hearing aid a little more visible could help you communicate your hearing loss more intentionally to others. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with customized artwork or designs. You will motivate people to be more courteous when conversing with you by making it more obvious that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Help
If you’re not correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be quite a bit harder to deal with your hearing loss or tinnitus. Management could be very different depending on the person. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And even something that basic can make a substantial difference in your day-to-day life.
Be Clear About What You Need
Getting shouted at is never enjoyable. But individuals with hearing loss routinely deal with people who think that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. So telling people how to best communicate with you is important. Perhaps rather than calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to arrange the next pickleball game. 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 stay away from everybody in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why purposely putting people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Go to your local supermarket instead of ordering groceries from Amazon. Schedule game night with friends. Social events should be arranged 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. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
Isolation Can Be Harmful
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by isolating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been linked to this type of isolation.
So the best way to keep your social life going and keep yourself happy and healthy along the way is to be practical about your hearing ailment, be honest about your situation, and do what you can to ensure you’re showing up for those weekly card games.