You’re having a Zoom call with your granddaughter and you’ve been waiting for it all week! You’ll be able to catch up, check-in, and, have a laugh.
But when the call begins, you are mortified to find out, you can’t hear what your loved ones are saying. You’re wearing your hearing aids but things still sound muffled.
You’re incredibly disappointed.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well known that you can achieve crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So it can be really, really discouraging when that doesn’t occur. You’re supposed to have clearer hearing when you’re using hearing aids, right? But, recently, every time you’ve used your hearing aids, everything has sounded muffled and distorted (and that’s certainly not an improvement over your regular hearing). The issue might not be the hearing aid at all.
Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?
Ok, so, if the hearing aid is functioning correctly, why does everybody sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? Well, there are a few things you can do to try to fix the issue.
You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax may have accumulated against the microphone and that could be the source of your problem. The earwax interferes with your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound and, as a result, the amplification is muffled.
You may be able to determine if earwax is the issue by:
- Doing a visual check. Don’t just put your hearing aid in without taking a good look at it. Clean it thoroughly if you notice any earwax.
- Power-up the hearing aid. If the start-up music and dings all sound fine, but speech is later muffled, the problem is likely with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the most likely reason).
It’s also possible that earwax has built up not on your hearing aid but in your ear. Make sure, in those situations, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). The troubleshooting will need to continue if the muffled sound remains even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.
So, if earwax isn’t the issue, the next likely culprit is going to be an infection. Sometimes, this could be a common ear infection. Sometimes, it may be an inner ear infection. In both instances, a hearing assessment is recommended.
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, the sound you’re hearing is muffled. Typical, antibiotics will clear this type of infection up. Once the infection goes away, your hearing should go back to normal.
You just need to replace your battery. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries are drained so make sure you watch for that. Even if you have rechargeable batteries this can still be true. Sometimes, replacing the batteries with fresh ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
It could also be possible that your hearing loss has changed and your hearing aids need to be adjusted to compensate for that. Think about scheduling an appointment for a hearing exam if you haven’t had one in the last year. While you’re here having your hearing aid reprogrammed we can also do an inspection and cleaning.
Don’t let it linger
It’s certainly a smart idea to come see us for a consultation if you’ve tried all this and your hearing aid is still muffled. You may find yourself putting your hearing aids in a drawer and turning your TV up again if you don’t resolve this muffling issue. And all of that could begin causing hearing damage again.
Letting it linger is not a good idea. Make an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family get-together. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you can actually hear what everyone is saying!