You’re having a Zoom call with your grandchild 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 starts, you are horrified to find out, you can’t hear what your family members 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 when that doesn’t occur, that can be really depressing. Hearing aids are designed to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids aren’t improving 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 working correctly? Well, there are a few things you can do to try to right the ship, as it were.
You’d be rich if you had a nickel for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax might have accumulated against the microphone and that could be the source of your trouble. The earwax inhibits your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound and, hence, the amplification is muffled.
Here are some indications that earwax may be the issue.:
- Doing a visual inspection. Don’t simply put your hearing aid in without getting 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 normal, but speech is later muffled, the problem is probably with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the most likely culprit).
Conversely, it’s possible that earwax in your ear rather than on the hearing aid is the problem here. In those cases, make sure to clean out your ears in a safe way (a cotton swab, by the way, is not a safe way). The troubleshooting will need to continue if the muffled sound lingers even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.
So, if earwax isn’t the issue, the next likely reason is going to be an infection. Sometimes, this could be a standard ear infection. Or it might be an inner ear infection. Both are worth making an appointment for an assessment.
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. Normally, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. Once the infection has cleared, your hearing should return to normal.
You just need to replace your battery. As hearing aids drain, they sometimes start to sound, well, muffled (you can see why this would be something to keep an eye on). Even if your hearing aids are rechargeable this can still be true. Sometimes, switching out the batteries with fresh ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
If you’re still having trouble hearing, don’t ignore the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. If you haven’t had a hearing exam in the last year or so, consider scheduling an appointment. While you’re here having your hearing aid reprogrammed we can also do an inspection and cleaning.
Don’t let it linger
If you try all this troubleshooting and your hearing is still muffled, it’s certainly worth taking some time to come in and see us. You may find yourself putting your hearing aids in a drawer and cranking your TV up again if you don’t resolve this muffling issue. And all of that could start causing hearing damage again.
So, don’t let it linger. Make an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family event. You’ll have more fun if you can actually hear what they’re saying!