You’re having a Zoom call with your granddaughter and you’ve been waiting for it all week! You’ll have a blast and get caught up with your cherished family members.
But when you log in you realize, to your sadness and disappointment, that you can’t hear very well. You’re wearing your hearing aids but things still sound muffled.
You’re incredibly discouraged.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well recognized that you can attain crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So when that doesn’t happen, that can be really discouraging. Hearing aids are meant to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids aren’t helping your hearing. Actually, they’re making everything sound muffled. The hearing aid itself may not even be the issue.
Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?
All right, so, if the hearing aid is functioning correctly, why does everyone sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? Well, there are a few things you can do to try to fix the issue.
You’d be rich if you had a nickel for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax might have built up against the microphone and that may be the source of your problem. Amplification is muffled when earwax hinders your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound.
You might be able to determine if earwax is the issue by:
- Doing a visual assessment. In other words, take a good look at the hearing aid before you put it in your ear. If you see earwax, try to clean it off.
- Turning the hearing aid on. If the start-up songs and dings all sound normal, but speech is later muffled, the problem is likely with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the likely culprit).
It’s also possible that earwax has built up not on your hearing aid but inside of your ear. Make sure, in those instances, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). The troubleshooting will need to continue if the muffled sound remains even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.
Infection will be the next thing to think about if earwax isn’t accountable. This could be a common ear infection. Sometimes, it may be an inner ear infection. In both instances, a hearing assessment is suggested.
Swelling 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. Management may include some antibiotics. As soon as the infection has cleared, your hearing will usually go back to normal.
You just need to replace your battery. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries get low so make sure you check for that. 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 change the batteries with fresh ones.
If you’re still having difficulty hearing, don’t ignore the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. Consider scheduling an appointment for a hearing exam if you haven’t had one in the past year. While you’re here having your hearing aid adjusted 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 definitely worth taking some time to come in and see us. If the muffled sounds linger, you might find yourself using your hearing aids less (or turning up the volume on your TV again). And all of that could begin causing hearing damage again.
Letting it linger is not a good plan. Make an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family event. If you can actually hear what they’re saying you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.