You’ve been looking forward to this all week: a Zoom call with your son and daughter-in-law. You’ll have a great time and get caught up with your beloved family members.
But when you log in you notice, to your horror and frustration, that you can’t hear very well. Your hearing aids are in, but everything sounds muffled.
You can’t believe how frustrated you are.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well known that you can experience crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So it can be really, really discouraging when that doesn’t happen. Hearing aids are designed to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids are not helping your hearing. Actually, they’re making everything sound muffled. The problem may not be the hearing aid at all.
Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?
All right, so, if the hearing aid is functioning properly, why does everyone sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? Well, there are several things you can do to fix the issue.
You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. The problem with your hearing aid could be a build-up of earwax against the microphone. Amplification is muffled when earwax hinders your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound.
You might be able to tell if earwax is the problem by:
- Turning the hearing aid on. The problem is likely to be the microphone (probably wax accumulation) and not the speaker if all of the start-up sounds are normal when you turn on the hearing aid.
- 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 notice any earwax.
Conversely, it’s possible that earwax in your ear and not on the hearing aid is the problem here. Be sure, in those situations, 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. Sometimes, this could be a standard ear infection. Sometimes, it might be an inner ear infection. Both are worth scheduling an appointment for an assessment.
Inflammation of the ear canal and middle ear can be the result of both kinds of infection. This swelling blocks the transmission of sound and, therefore, your hearing is muffled. Treatments might 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 should be something to check). Even if your hearing aids are rechargeable this can still be true. Sometimes, replacing the batteries with fresh ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
If you’re still having trouble hearing, don’t ignore the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. Think about making an appointment for a hearing examination if you haven’t had one in the last year. While you’re here having your hearing aid reprogrammed we can also do an inspection and cleaning.
Don’t let it linger
It’s certainly a good plan to come in for a consultation if you’ve tried all this and your hearing aid still sounds muffled. You may find yourself putting your hearing aids in a drawer and turning your TV up again if you don’t eliminate this muffling problem. Your hearing could then start to sustain further damage.
So, don’t let it linger. If you are unable to 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 event. You’ll have more fun if you can actually hear what they’re saying!