Happy mature middle aged adult woman wearing hearing aids waving hand holding digital tablet computer video conference calling by social distance virtual family online chat meeting sitting on couch at home

You’ve been waiting for this all week: a Zoom call with your son and daughter-in-law. You’ll be able to catch up, check-in, and, laugh.

But when the call starts, you are horrified to realize, you can’t hear what your family members are saying. You’re wearing your hearing aids but you still can’t hear anything.

You can’t believe how disappointed you are.

Modern marvels muffled

It’s well known that you can achieve crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So when that doesn’t happen, that can be really depressing. Hearing aids are meant to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids are not 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?

All right, 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 right the ship, as it were.

Earwax

You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. The problem with your hearing aid could be an accumulation of earwax against the microphone. The earwax inhibits your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound and, as a result, the amplification is muffled.

You might be able to tell if earwax is the problem by:

  • Power-up the hearing aid. If the start-up music 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).
  • Visually inspect your hearing aids. In other words, have a good look at the device before you put it in your ear. Clean it completely if you notice any earwax.

Alternatively, it’s possible that earwax in your ear rather than on the hearing aid is the problem here. Make sure, in those situations, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). If the muffled problem continues after you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll need to keep troubleshooting.

Infection

So, if earwax isn’t the issue, the next likely culprit is going to be an infection. In many cases, this could be a common ear infection. Sometimes, it may be an inner ear infection. Both are worth making 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 swelling blocks the transmission of sound. Typical, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. When the infection has cleared, your hearing will usually go back to normal.

Batteries

You just need to replace your battery. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries get low so be sure to watch for that. This is true even if your batteries are rechargeable. It’s possible, in many cases, that your hearing aids will become crystal clear again after you switch out the batteries with new ones.

Hearing loss

It could also be possible that your hearing loss has changed and your hearing aids need to be reprogrammed to make up for that. Consider making an appointment for a hearing examination 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

It’s definitely a good idea to come see us 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 cranking your TV up again if you don’t resolve this muffling problem. And all of that could begin causing hearing damage again.

Letting it linger is not a wise idea. If you can’t clear out some earwax and get hearing again, schedule a hearing exam with us today and get everything taken care of before your next family event. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you can actually hear what they’re saying!

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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