You’re having a Zoom call with your grandchild and you’ve been looking forward to it all week! You’ll have a great time and get caught up with your beloved family members.
But when you log in you realize, to your horror and frustration, 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 recognized that you can experience crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So when that doesn’t occur, that can be really frustrating. You’re supposed to have better 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 hearing aid itself may not even be the problem.
Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?
Ok, so, if the hearing aid is working properly, why does everyone sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? Well, there are a couple of things you can do to try to fix the issue.
If I had a dime for every issue that earwax has caused (in general, not me personally), I’d be a rich (but still cranky) man. Earwax might have built up against the microphone and that could be the source of your trouble. Amplification is muffled when earwax blocks your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound.
You may be able to tell if earwax is the problem by:
- Visually look over your hearing aids. Don’t just put your hearing aid in without getting a good look at it. Clean it completely if you see any earwax.
- Power-up the hearing aid. If the start-up songs 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).
Alternatively, it’s possible that earwax in your ear and not on the hearing aid is the problem here. 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 persists even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.
So, if earwax isn’t the problem, the next likely culprit will be an infection. This could be a normal ear infection. Or it may 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. This swelling blocks the transmission of sound and, consequently, your hearing is muffled. Usually, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. Once the infection goes away, your hearing will usually go back to normal.
You just need to change your battery. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries get low so be sure to check for that. Even if your hearing aids are rechargeable this can still be true. Sometimes, replacing the batteries with fresh 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 adjusted to compensate for that. If you haven’t had your hearing tested in the last year or so, think about 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
It’s certainly a good plan to come see us for a consultation if you’ve tried all this and your hearing aid still sounds muffled. You may find yourself putting your hearing aids in a drawer and turning your TV up again if you don’t solve this muffling issue. And all of that could begin renewed hearing damage.
So, don’t let it linger. Schedule an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family event. If you can actually hear what everyone is saying you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.