You’re having a Zoom call with your granddaughter and you’ve been waiting for it all week! You’ll have a great time and get caught up with your cherished family members.
But when you get online you realize, to your horror and disappointment, that you can’t hear properly. You’re wearing your hearing aids but you still can’t hear anything.
You’re incredibly disappointed.
Modern marvels muffled
Modern hearing aids are known for their ability to provide crystal clear sounds. That’s why it can be really, really discouraging when that doesn’t happen. You should have better hearing when you’re using hearing aids, right? But your hearing aids aren’t improving your hearing. Actually, they’re making everything sound muffled. The hearing aid itself might not even be the issue.
Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?
Ok, so, if the hearing aid is functioning correctly, why does everybody sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? Well, there are several things you can do to fix the problem.
If I had a nickel 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 pick up sound and, thus, the amplification is muffled.
Here are some signs that earwax may be the problem.:
- Visually look over your hearing aids. In other words, take a good look at the device before you put it in your ear. Clean it thoroughly if you notice any earwax.
- 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 power-up the hearing aid.
It’s also possible that earwax has built up not on your hearing aid but in your ear. In those instances, make sure to clean out your ears in a safe way (a cotton swab, by the way, is not a safe way). The troubleshooting will need to continue if the muffled sound persists even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.
So, if earwax isn’t the issue, the next likely culprit is going to be an infection. Sometimes, this could be a common ear infection. Sometimes, it might be an inner ear infection. In both cases, a hearing evaluation is suggested.
Swelling of the ear canal and middle ear can be the outcome of both kinds of infection. This inflammation blocks the transmission of sound and, consequently, the sound you’re hearing is muffled. Treatments may include some antibiotics. Once the infection clears, your hearing should go back to normal.
You just need to replace your battery. As hearing aids lose power, 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 your batteries are rechargeable. Sometimes, switching out the batteries with new ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
If you’re still having trouble hearing, don’t discount the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. Think about scheduling an appointment for a hearing examination if you haven’t had one in the last year. Not only will you be able to make sure your hearing aids are properly programmed, but we will also be able to do a professional clean and check on your device.
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 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. 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 you’ll have a lot more fun.