You’re missing telephone calls now. You don’t hear the phone ringing sometimes. In other cases coping with the garbled voice on the other end is just too much of a hassle.
But you’re avoiding more than simply phone calls. Last week you skipped pickleball with friends. This kind of thing has been occurring more and more. Your beginning to feel somewhat isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the real cause. You haven’t really figured out how to integrate your diminishing ability to hear into your day-to-day life, and it’s triggering something that’s all too widespread: social isolation. Getting away from loneliness and back to being social can be tricky. But if you want to do it, here are a few things you can try.
First, Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
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.
Informing people in your life that you have hearing loss is another step towards acknowledgment. In many ways, hearing loss is a type of invisible condition. There’s no particular way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So it’s not something anybody will likely pick up on just by looking at you. Your friends might start to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Making people aware of your hearing loss can help those around you understand what you’re dealing with and place your responses in a different context.
Your Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Kept Secret
Accepting your hearing loss–and telling the people around you about it–is an important first step. Getting scheduled hearing aid exams to make sure your hearing hasn’t changed is also worthwhile. And curbing your first tendencies toward isolation can also help. But you can deal with isolation with a few more steps.
Make Your Hearing Aids Visible
Most people think that a smaller less visible hearing aid is a more ideal option. But it could be that making your hearing aid pop a little more could help you relate your hearing loss more deliberately to others. Some individuals even go so far as to emblazon their hearing aids with custom art or designs. You will encourage people to be more considerate when talking with you by making it more obvious that you have hearing loss.
Get Professional Help
If you aren’t effectively treating your hearing ailment it will be a lot harder to deal with your tinnitus or hearing loss. Treatment could be very different depending on the situation. But usually, it means using hearing aids (or making certain that your hearing aids are properly calibrated). And your daily life can be greatly affected by something even this basic.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never enjoyable to get yelled at. But people with hearing impairment regularly deal with people who feel that this is the best way to communicate with them. That’s why it’s important that you advocate for what you need from people around you. Maybe instead of calling you via the phone, your friends can text you to plan the next get together. You will be less likely to isolate yourself if you can get everyone in the loop.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to stay away from everyone in the age of the internet. That’s why purposely placing people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Shop at your local grocery store rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Schedule game night with your friends. Make those activities part of your calendar in a deliberate and scheduled way. There are so many simple ways to run into people such as taking a walk around your neighborhood. Besides helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to identify words correctly and continue to process sound cues.
Solitude Can Be Hazardous
Your doing more than curtailing your social life by separating yourself because of neglected hearing impairment. Anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other mental issues have been linked to this type 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 practical about your hearing condition, be realistic about your situation, and do what you can to ensure you’re showing up for those regular card games.