You’re having a Zoom call with your granddaughter and you’ve been anticipating it all week! You’ll be able to catch up, check-in, and, have a laugh.
But when the call starts, you are horrified to find out, you can’t hear what your family members are saying. Your hearing aids are in, but everything sounds muffled.
You can’t believe how disappointed you are.
Modern marvels muffled
Modern hearing aids are known for their ability to deliver crystal clear sounds. So it can be really, really frustrating when that doesn’t occur. You’re supposed to have better hearing when you’re using hearing aids, right? But your hearing aids aren’t helping your hearing. Actually, they’re making everything sound muffled. The hearing aid itself might not even be the issue.
Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?
So why do voices sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher if your hearing aids are functioning properly? Well, there are a couple of things you can do to try to right the ship, as it were.
You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax may have built up against the microphone and that could be the source of your problem. Amplification is muffled when earwax blocks your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound.
You may be able to tell if earwax is the issue by:
- Turning the hearing aid on. If the start-up music and dings all sound fine, but speech is later muffled, the issue is probably with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the likely reason).
- Doing a visual check. In other words, take a good look at the hearing aid before you put it in your ear. Clean it thoroughly if you notice any earwax.
It’s also possible that earwax has built up not on your hearing aid but inside of your ear. Be sure, in those cases, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). The troubleshooting will have to continue if the muffled sound lingers even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.
Infection will be the next thing to think about if earwax isn’t responsible. In many cases, this could be a common ear infection. Sometimes, it could be an inner ear infection. Both are worth setting up an appointment for an evaluation.
Swelling of the ear canal and middle ear can be the result of both kinds of infection. This swelling blocks the transmission of sound and, consequently, your hearing is muffled. Normally, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. Once the infection clears, your hearing will usually go back to normal.
It’s also very possible that your hearing aid batteries need to be changed. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries are drained so make sure you watch for that. This is true even if you have rechargeable batteries. Sometimes, changing the batteries with new ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
It might also be possible that your hearing loss has changed and your hearing aids need to be reprogrammed to make up for that. Think about scheduling an appointment for a hearing test if you haven’t had one in the past year. Not only will you be able to make sure your hearing aids are correctly tuned, 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 nothing really helps, it’s certainly worth taking some time to come in for a consultation. You may find yourself leaving your hearing aids in a drawer and turning your TV up again if you don’t resolve this muffling issue. Your hearing could then start to sustain additional damage.
So, don’t let it linger. Make an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family event. If you can actually hear what they’re saying you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.