You’re having a Zoom call with your grandchild and you’ve been anticipating it all week! You’ll have a blast and get caught up with your cherished family members.
But when the call starts, you are horrified to realize, you can’t hear what your family members are saying. Your hearing aids are in, but everything seems muffled.
You’re incredibly discouraged.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well known that you can experience crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So when that doesn’t occur, that can be very frustrating. Hearing aids are designed to help you hear better, right? But, lately, every time you’ve used your hearing aids, everything has sounded muffled and distorted (and that’s certainly not an improvement over your normal hearing). The issue may not be the hearing aid at all.
What’s the cause of that muffling?
So why do voices sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher if your hearing aids are working correctly? Well, there are a few things you can do to try to right the ship, as it were.
You’d be rich if you had a nickel for every time earwax caused trouble. The problem with your hearing aid could be an accumulation of earwax against the microphone. The earwax inhibits your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound and, as a result, the amplification is muffled.
You may be able to tell if earwax is the issue by:
- Power-up the hearing aid. 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 power-up the hearing aid.
- Visually look over your hearing aids. In other words, have a good look at the device before you put it in your ear. Clean it thoroughly if you see any earwax.
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). If the muffled problem continues once you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll need to keep troubleshooting.
Infection will be the next thing to consider if earwax isn’t accountable. Sometimes, this could be a standard ear infection. Or it might be an inner ear infection. In both situations, a hearing evaluation is recommended.
Ear infections of various kinds and causes can produce swelling in your ear canal or middle ear. This inflammation blocks the transmission of sound and, consequently, the sound you’re hearing is muffled. Typical, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. Once the infection goes away, your hearing will usually go back to normal.
You just need to change your battery. 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, switching out the batteries with new ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
If you’re still having problems hearing, don’t discount the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. If you haven’t had a hearing exam in the last year or so, consider scheduling an appointment. Not only will you be able to make sure your hearing aids are correctly programmed, but we will also be able to do a professional clean and check on your device.
Don’t let it linger
It’s definitely a smart plan 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 resolve this muffling issue. Your hearing could then start to sustain further damage.
Letting it linger is not a good plan. Schedule an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family event. If you can actually hear what they’re saying you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.