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 get online you notice, to your sadness and frustration, that you can’t hear properly. Your hearing aids are in, but everything sounds muffled.
You can’t believe how discouraged you are.
Modern marvels muffled
Modern hearing aids are famous for their ability to provide very clear sounds. That’s why it can be really, really frustrating when that doesn’t occur. Hearing aids are meant to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids aren’t improving your hearing. Actually, 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 several things you can do to correct the problem.
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 may have built up against the microphone and that may be the source of your trouble. The earwax impedes your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound and, as a result, the amplification is muffled.
Here are some signs that earwax could be the problem.:
- Turning the hearing aid on. The issue 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.
- 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 notice any earwax.
Conversely, it’s possible that earwax in your ear and not on the hearing aid is the issue here. Be sure, in those instances, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). If the muffled issue persists once you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll need to continue troubleshooting.
So, if earwax isn’t the problem, the next likely culprit is going to be an infection. Sometimes, this could be a common ear infection. Or it might 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 outcome of both kinds of infection. Your hearing will then sound muffled as this inflammation blocks the transmission of sound. Management might include some antibiotics. When the infection has cleared, your hearing will usually return to normal.
You just have to replace your battery. As hearing aids lose power, they sometimes begin 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 be true. Sometimes, changing 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 reprogrammed to make up for that. If you haven’t had your hearing tested in the last year or so, consider scheduling an appointment. While you’re here getting your hearing aid adjusted we can also do an inspection and cleaning.
Don’t let it linger
It’s certainly a smart plan to come in for a consultation if you’ve tried all this and your hearing aid is still muffled. You might find yourself putting your hearing aids in a drawer and turning your TV up again if you don’t resolve this muffling problem. And all of that could start causing hearing damage again.
Letting it linger is not a wise idea. Make 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.