You’re having a Zoom call with your grandchild and you’ve been looking forward to it all week! You’ll be able to catch up, check-in, and, laugh.
But when the call begins, you are horrified to realize, you can’t hear what your loved ones are saying. Your hearing aids are in, but everything seems muffled.
You can’t believe how disappointed you are.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well recognized that you can achieve crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. That’s why it can be really, really aggravating when that doesn’t occur. You’re supposed to have clearer hearing with hearing aids, right? But your hearing aids aren’t improving your hearing. Actually, they’re making everything sound muffled. The hearing aid itself may not even be the issue.
What’s causing that muffling?
Ok, so, if the hearing aid is functioning properly, why does everyone sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? 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 issue with your hearing aid might be an accumulation of earwax against the microphone. Amplification is muffled when earwax hinders your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound.
Here are some indications that earwax could be the problem.:
- Doing a visual assessment. In other words, have a good look at the hearing aid before you put it in your ear. If you notice any earwax, try to remove it.
- Power-up the hearing aid. If the start-up songs and dings all sound fine, but speech is later muffled, the problem is likely with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the most likely reason).
Conversely, it’s possible that earwax in your ear and not on the hearing aid is the issue here. Make sure, in those instances, 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 consider if earwax isn’t responsible. This could be a normal ear infection. Or it might be an inner ear infection. In both cases, a hearing evaluation is recommended.
Ear infections of various kinds and causes can produce inflammation in your ear canal or middle ear. This swelling blocks the transmission of sound and, therefore, the sound you’re hearing is muffled. Normally, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. Once the infection goes away, your hearing should return 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 you have rechargeable batteries this can still be true. It’s possible, in many cases, that your hearing aids will be crystal clear again after you switch out the batteries with fresh ones.
It could also be feasible that your hearing loss has changed and your hearing aids need to be adjusted to compensate for that. If you haven’t had a hearing exam in the last year or so, consider making an appointment. Not only will you be able to make sure your hearing aids are properly 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 certainly worth taking some time to come in for a consultation. You may find yourself leaving your hearing aids in a drawer and turning your TV up again if you don’t eliminate this muffling issue. And all of that could begin renewed hearing damage.
So, don’t let it linger. Schedule an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family event. If you can actually hear what everyone is saying you’ll you’ll have a lot more fun.