You’ve been waiting for this all week: a Zoom call with your grandchildren. You’ll have a blast and get caught up with your cherished family members.
But when the call starts, you are mortified to find out, you can’t hear what your family members are saying. Your hearing aids are in, but everything sounds muffled.
You’re incredibly frustrated.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well known that you can attain crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So when that doesn’t happen, that can be really frustrating. You’re supposed to have better hearing with hearing aids, right? But your hearing aids are not improving your hearing. Actually, they’re making everything sound muffled. The problem might not be the hearing aid at all.
What’s the cause of that muffling?
Ok, so, if the hearing aid is working properly, why does everybody sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? Well, there are a couple things you can do to fix the issue.
You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax might have accumulated against the microphone and that could be the source of your problem. Amplification is muffled when earwax hinders your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound.
You may be able to tell if earwax is the problem by:
- Power-up the hearing aid. If the start-up songs and dings all sound normal, but speech is later muffled, the problem is probably with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the most likely reason).
- Visually inspect your hearing aids. Don’t just put your hearing aid in without getting a good look at it. If you see earwax, try to remove it.
Conversely, it’s possible that earwax in your ear and not on the hearing aid is the issue here. In those instances, be certain to clean out your ears in a safe way (a cotton swab, by the way, is not a safe way). The troubleshooting will have to continue if the muffled sound persists even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.
So, if earwax isn’t the problem, the next likely reason will be an infection. This could be a common ear infection. Sometimes, it might be an inner ear infection. In both cases, a hearing assessment is suggested.
Ear infections of various kinds and causes can generate inflammation in your ear canal or middle ear. This inflammation blocks the transmission of sound and, consequently, the sound you’re hearing is muffled. Usually, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. When the infection has cleared, your hearing should go back to normal.
It’s also very possible that your hearing aid batteries are in need to be charged. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries get low so make sure you watch for that. This is true even if you have rechargeable batteries. Sometimes, replacing the batteries with new ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
It may also be feasible that your hearing loss has changed and your hearing aids need to be reprogrammed to compensate for that. If you haven’t had your hearing tested in the last year or so, consider scheduling an appointment. Not only will you be able to make sure your hearing aids are correctly tuned, 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 for a consultation. If your muffled hearing lingers, you might find yourself using your hearing aids less (or cranking up the volume on your TV again). Your hearing may then begin to sustain additional damage.
So, don’t let it linger. If you can’t clean out some earwax and get hearing again, schedule a hearing test with us today and get everything cleared up before your next family get-together. If you can actually hear what they’re saying you’ll you’ll have a lot more fun.