Even now you’re missing calls. You don’t hear the phone ring sometimes. Other times, you just don’t want to deal with 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 last week’s darts league, too. More and more often, this sort of thing has been happening. Your starting to feel a little isolated.
The root cause, obviously, is your loss of hearing. You haven’t quite determined how to integrate your diminishing ability to hear into your daily life, and it’s triggering something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. 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 really sure what the cause of your social isolation is when it first begins to occur. So, noticing your hearing loss is a big first step. Making an appointment to get fitted for hearing aids and keeping them in good working order are also strong first steps.
Recognition might also take the form of alerting people in your life about your hearing loss. In many ways, hearing loss is a kind of invisible affliction. Someone who has hearing loss doesn’t have a particular “look”.
So when somebody looks at you it’s not likely they will detect that you have hearing loss. To your people around you, your turn towards isolation could seem to be anti-social. Making people aware of 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 a Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an important first step. Making sure your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing assessments is also significant. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also help. But you can deal with isolation with a few more steps.
Make it so People Can See Your Hearing Aids
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 might have a better understanding of the struggle you are living with. Some individuals even go so far as to embellish their hearing aids with customized artwork or designs. You will encourage people to be more considerate when conversing with you by making it more apparent that you are hard of hearing.
Get Professional Treatment
If you aren’t correctly treating your hearing ailment it will be much harder to cope with your hearing loss or tinnitus. What “treatment” looks like may fluctuate wildly depending on the situation. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And your daily life can be greatly impacted by something even this basic.
Let People Know How They Can Help You
It’s never enjoyable to get shouted at. But people with hearing impairment routinely deal with people who think that this is the preferred way to communicate with them. So letting people know how to best communicate with you is important. Maybe texting to make plans would be better than calling. If everybody can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel like you need to isolate yourself.
Put Yourself in Social Situations
In this time of internet-based food delivery, it’s easy enough to avoid everyone for good. That’s why intentionally putting people in your path can help you avoid isolation. Instead of ordering groceries from Amazon, go to your local grocery store. Set up game night with friends. Make those activities a part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. There are lots of easy ways to see 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.
Isolation Can Be Hazardous
If you’re separating yourself because of untreated hearing impairment, you’re doing more than limiting your social life. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been connected to this type of isolation.
Being realistic about your hearing condition is the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to keep your social life on track, be realistic about your situation, and do what you can to ensure you’re showing up for those regular card games.