You’ve been anticipating this all week: a Zoom call with your son and daughter-in-law. You’ll have a blast and catch-up with your beloved family members.
But when the call starts, you are mortified to find out, you can’t hear what your loved ones are saying. Your hearing aids are in, but everything seems muffled.
You’re incredibly discouraged.
Modern marvels muffled
Modern hearing aids are known for their ability to deliver crystal clear sounds. So when that doesn’t occur, that can be really depressing. Hearing aids are supposed to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids are not helping your hearing. In fact, they’re making everything sound muffled. The hearing aid itself may not even be the issue.
What’s causing that muffling?
So why do voices sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher if your hearing aids are working properly? 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. The issue with your hearing aid may be an accumulation of earwax against the microphone. Amplification is muffled when earwax hinders your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound.
You might be able to tell if earwax is the problem by:
- Turning the hearing aid on. If the start-up music 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 likely reason).
- Doing a visual check. Don’t simply put your hearing aid in without taking a good look at it. If you notice any earwax, try to remove it.
It’s also possible that earwax has built up not on your hearing aid but in your ear. 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). If the muffled issue remains once you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll have to continue troubleshooting.
Infection will be the next thing to think about if earwax isn’t responsible. This could be a common ear infection. Or it may be an inner ear infection. In both instances, a hearing assessment is recommended.
Swelling of the ear canal and middle ear can be the result of both kinds of infection. This inflammation blocks the transmission of sound and, therefore, your hearing is muffled. Normally, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. When the infection has cleared, your hearing should go back to normal.
It’s also entirely possible that your hearing aid batteries need to be changed. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries are drained so be sure to check for that. This is still true even if you have rechargeable batteries. Sometimes, changing the batteries with fresh ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
If you’re still having problems hearing, don’t dismiss the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. 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 adjusted we can also do an inspection and cleaning.
Don’t let it linger
It’s definitely a smart 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 leaving your hearing aids in a drawer and turning your TV up again if you don’t eliminate this muffling issue. Your hearing could then begin to sustain further damage.
So, don’t let it linger. Schedule an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family get-together. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you can actually hear what everyone is saying!