You’ve been waiting for this all week: a Zoom call with your son and daughter-in-law. You’ll be able to get caught up, check-in, and, laugh.
But when you get online you realize, to your horror and frustration, that you can’t hear properly. You’re wearing your hearing aids but things still sound muffled.
You’re incredibly frustrated.
Modern marvels muffled
Modern hearing aids are celebrated for their ability to deliver very clear sounds. So when that doesn’t happen, that can be really discouraging. Hearing aids are supposed to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids aren’t helping your hearing. Actually, they’re making everything sound muffled. The issue may 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 everyone sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? Well, there are several things you can do to correct the issue.
If I had a dime for every problem that earwax has caused (in general, not me personally), I’d be a rich (but still cranky) man. The problem with your hearing aid might be a build-up of earwax against the microphone. The earwax interferes with your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound and, hence, the amplification is muffled.
You may be able to tell if earwax is the problem by:
- Visually look over your hearing aids. In other words, take a good look at the hearing aid before you put it in your ear. If you see earwax, try to remove it.
- Turning the hearing aid on. If the start-up songs and dings all sound fine, but speech is later muffled, the issue is likely with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the likely reason).
Alternatively, it’s possible that earwax in your ear rather than on the hearing aid is the issue here. Be sure, in those cases, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). The troubleshooting will need to continue if the muffled sound persists even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.
Infection will be the next thing to consider if earwax isn’t responsible. This could be a normal ear infection. Or it may be an inner ear infection. Both are worth setting up 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. Treatments may include some antibiotics. Once the infection clears, your hearing should go back to normal.
You just need to change 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). This is still true even if you have rechargeable batteries. It’s possible, in many instances, that your hearing aids will become crystal clear again after you replace the batteries with new ones.
It could 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. Not only will you be able to make sure your hearing aids are properly tuned, but we will also be able to do a professional clean and check on your device.
Don’t let it linger
It’s definitely a smart idea to come see us for a consultation if you’ve tried all this and your hearing aid is still muffled. If your muffled hearing lingers, you may find yourself using your hearing aids less (or cranking up the volume on your TV again). And all of that could start causing hearing damage again.
So, don’t let it linger. If you can’t clear out some earwax and get hearing again, schedule a hearing assessment with us today and get everything taken care of before your next family get-together. If you can actually hear what everyone is saying you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.