Even now you’re missing calls. Sometimes, it’s that you don’t hear the phone ring. Other times, you just don’t want to go through the annoyance of having a conversation with a garbled voice you can barely understand.
But it isn’t just your phone you’re staying away from. You missed last week’s softball game, too. More and more frequently, this type of thing has been happening. You can’t help but feel somewhat… isolated.
Your hearing loss is, obviously, the root cause. You haven’t quite figured out how to incorporate your diminishing ability to hear into your everyday life, and it’s resulting in something that’s all too common: social isolation. Trading loneliness for companionship could take a little bit of work. But we have a few things you can try to make it happen.
Acknowledging Your Hearing Loss is The First Step
In a good number of cases, social isolation first manifests when you aren’t quite certain what the root cause is. So, noticing your hearing loss is an important first step. That may mean making an appointment with a hearing specialist, getting fitted for hearing aids, and making sure you keep those hearing aids in working order.
Acknowledgment may also take the form of alerting people in your life about your hearing loss. Hearing loss is, in many ways, an unseen health condition. There’s no particular way to “look” like you have hearing loss.
So when people look at you it’s not likely they will detect that you have hearing loss. Your friends may begin to feel your isolation is a step towards being antisocial. Talking about your hearing loss can help people around you understand what you’re going through and place your reactions in a different context.
You Shouldn’t Keep Your Hearing Loss Secret
An important first step is being honest with yourself and others about your hearing loss. Making certain your hearing remains consistent by getting regular hearing checks 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 it so Others Can See Your Hearing Aids
There are a lot of individuals who place a premium on the invisibility of hearing aids: the smaller the better, right? But if people could see your hearing aid they might have a better recognition of the struggle you are living with. Some people even customize their hearing aids with custom artwork. By making it more obvious, you invite other people to do you the courtesy of looking at you when they speak with you and making sure you understand before moving the conversation on.
Get Professional Treatment
Dealing with your tinnitus or hearing loss is going to be a lot more difficult if you aren’t effectively treating that hearing condition. Management could be very different depending on the person. But wearing or properly calibrating hearing aids is commonly a common factor. And your daily life can be enormously impacted by something even this simple.
Be Clear About What You Need
It’s never fun to get shouted at. But individuals with hearing impairment regularly deal with individuals 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. Perhaps texting to make plans would be a better option than calling. If everybody can get on the same page, you’re less likely to feel the need to isolate yourself.
Put People In Your Path
It’s easy to avoid everybody in the age of the internet. That’s the reason why purposely putting people in your path can help you steer clear of isolation. Shop at your local supermarket rather than ordering groceries from Amazon. Meet up for a weekly card game. Make those plans 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 run into other people. In addition to helping you feel less isolated, this will also help you to discern words precisely and to keep processing sound cues.
It Can be Hazardous to Become Isolated
If you’re isolating yourself because of neglected hearing loss, you’re doing more than limiting your social life. Isolation of this type has been linked to mental decline, depression, worry, and other mental health problems.
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 practical about your hearing condition, be realistic about your situation, and remain in sync with family and friends.