You’re having a Zoom call with your grandchild and you’ve been waiting for it all week! You’ll have a great time and get caught up with your beloved family members.
But when the call starts, you are horrified to find out, you can’t hear what your loved ones are saying. Your hearing aids are in, but everything sounds muffled.
You’re incredibly discouraged.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well known that you can experience crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So when that doesn’t occur, that can be very discouraging. You should have clearer hearing when you’re using hearing aids, right? But, lately, every time you’ve turned your hearing aids on, everything has sounded muffled and distorted (and that’s certainly not an improvement over your normal hearing). The hearing aid itself may 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 correctly? Well, there are a few things you can do to correct the issue.
You’d be rich if you had a nickel for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax might have accumulated against the microphone and that may be the source of your problem. The earwax inhibits your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound and, hence, the amplification is muffled.
Here are some indications that earwax could be the problem.:
- Turning the hearing aid on. If the start-up music and dings all sound normal, but speech is later muffled, the issue is probably with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the likely reason).
- Visually inspect your hearing aids. In other words, have a good look at the hearing aid before you put it in your ear. Clean it thoroughly if you see any earwax.
It’s also possible that earwax has accumulated not on your hearing aid but inside of your ear. Make sure, in those situations, 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 is going to be an infection. This could be a common ear infection. Or it may be an inner ear infection. Both are worth setting up an appointment for an evaluation.
Ear infections of several kinds and causes can produce inflammation in your ear canal or middle ear. This inflammation blocks the transmission of sound and, consequently, the sound you’re hearing is muffled. Treatments may include some antibiotics. Once the infection goes away, your hearing will usually return to normal.
It’s also very possible that your hearing aid batteries are in need to be charged. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries are drained so be sure to check for that. Even if your hearing aids are rechargeable this can still be true. Sometimes, changing the batteries with fresh ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
If you’re still having problems hearing, don’t discount the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. 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 reprogrammed we can also do an inspection and cleaning.
Don’t let it linger
It’s certainly a smart plan to come see us for a consultation if you’ve tried all this and your hearing aid is still muffled. You may find yourself leaving your hearing aids in a drawer and cranking your TV up again if you don’t eliminate this muffling issue. Your hearing may then start to sustain further damage.
Letting it linger is not a wise plan. 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!