You’re having a Zoom call with your grandchild and you’ve been waiting for it all week! You’ll have a blast and catch-up with your beloved family members.
But when you log in you realize, to your sadness and disappointment, that you can’t hear properly. Your hearing aids are in, but everything seems muffled.
You can’t believe how frustrated you are.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well known that you can achieve crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So it can be really, really frustrating when that doesn’t occur. You should have clearer hearing when you’re using hearing aids, right? But your hearing aids aren’t helping your hearing. In fact, they’re making everything sound muffled. The issue might not be the hearing aid at all.
Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?
So why do voices sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher if your hearing aids are working correctly? Well, there are a few things you can do to fix the issue.
You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. The issue with your hearing aid may be an accumulation of earwax against the microphone. The earwax interferes with your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound and, thus, the amplification is muffled.
You may be able to determine if earwax is the issue by:
- Doing a visual assessment. In other words, take a good look at the hearing aid before you put it in your ear. Clean it thoroughly if you see any earwax.
- Power-up the hearing aid. The problem is likely to be the microphone (probably wax accumulation) and not the speaker if all of the start-up sounds are normal when you turn on the hearing aid.
Alternatively, it’s possible that earwax in your ear and not on the hearing aid is the problem here. Make sure, in those situations, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). If the muffled problem persists once you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll need to continue troubleshooting.
Infection will be the next thing to think about if earwax isn’t accountable. This could be a normal ear infection. Or it might be an inner ear infection. In both cases, a hearing assessment is recommended.
Inflammation of the ear canal and middle ear can be the result of both kinds of infection. Your hearing will then sound muffled as this inflammation blocks the transmission of sound. Management may include some antibiotics. Once the infection has cleared, your hearing will usually go back to normal.
You just need to change your battery. As hearing aids lose power, they sometimes start to sound, well, muffled (you can see why this would be something to keep an eye on). Even if you have rechargeable batteries this can be true. It’s possible, in many cases, that your hearing aids will become crystal clear again after you change the batteries with fresh ones.
If you’re still having trouble hearing, don’t ignore the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. If you haven’t had your hearing tested in the last year or so, consider scheduling an appointment. Not only will you be able to make sure your hearing aids are properly programmed, but we will also be able to do a professional clean and check on your device.
Don’t let it linger
If you try all this troubleshooting and your hearing is still muffled, it’s definitely worth taking some time to come in for a consultation. If your muffled hearing lingers, you might find yourself wearing your hearing aids less (or cranking up the volume on your TV again). And all of that could begin causing hearing damage again.
So, don’t let it linger. Schedule an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family get-together. If you can actually hear what everyone is saying you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.