You’re having a Zoom call with your granddaughter and you’ve been waiting for it all week! You’ll be able to catch up, check-in, and, have a laugh.
But when the call begins, you are mortified to realize, you can’t hear what your family members are saying. Your hearing aids are in, but everything sounds muffled.
You can’t believe how disappointed you are.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well known that you can attain crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. That’s why it can be really, really frustrating when that doesn’t occur. Hearing aids are meant to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids are not helping your hearing. In fact, they’re making everything sound muffled. The issue might not be the hearing aid at all.
What’s causing that muffling?
Ok, 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 fix the issue.
You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax may have accumulated against the microphone and that could be the source of your trouble. The earwax interferes with your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound and, thus, the amplification is muffled.
Here are some signs that earwax could be the issue.:
- Visually look over your hearing aids. In other words, take a good look at the device before you put it in your ear. If you notice any earwax, try to clean it off.
- Power-up the hearing aid. If the start-up music and dings all sound fine, but speech is later muffled, the issue is probably with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the likely culprit).
Conversely, it’s possible that earwax in your ear rather than on the hearing aid is the problem here. In those situations, 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 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 consider if earwax isn’t responsible. In many cases, this could be a common ear infection. Sometimes, it might be an inner ear infection. Both are worth scheduling an appointment for an evaluation.
Inflammation of the ear canal and middle ear can be the outcome of both kinds of infection. Your hearing will then sound muffled as this inflammation blocks the transmission of sound. Typical, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. Once the infection clears, 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 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.
It might also be possible that your hearing loss has changed and your hearing aids need to be adjusted to make up for that. If you haven’t had a hearing exam in the last year or so, think about scheduling an appointment. While you’re here having your hearing aid reprogrammed we can also do an inspection and cleaning.
Don’t let it linger
If you try all this troubleshooting and nothing really helps, it’s definitely worth taking some time to come in for a consultation. You may find yourself leaving 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 start 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. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you can actually hear what they’re saying!