You’re having a Zoom call with your grandchild and you’ve been looking forward to it all week! You’ll have a blast and get caught up with your cherished family members.
But when the call starts, you are mortified to realize, you can’t hear what your loved ones are saying. You’re wearing your hearing aids but you still can’t hear anything.
You’re incredibly discouraged.
Modern marvels muffled
Modern hearing aids are known for their ability to deliver very clear sounds. So it can be really, really aggravating when that doesn’t happen. Hearing aids are meant to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids are not improving your hearing. Actually, they’re making everything sound muffled. The problem 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 functioning properly? Well, there are a couple things you can do to fix the issue.
You’d be rich if you had a nickel for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax may have built up against the microphone and that may be the source of your problem. The earwax impedes your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound and, as a result, the amplification is muffled.
You may be able to determine if earwax is the problem by:
- Doing a visual check. In other words, have a good look at the hearing aid before you put it in your ear. If you see earwax, try to remove it.
- Turning the hearing aid on. The problem is likely to be the microphone (probably wax buildup) and not the speaker if all of the start-up sounds are normal when you turn on the hearing aid.
It’s also possible that earwax has accumulated not on your hearing aid but inside of your ear. Make sure, in those situations, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). If the muffled issue continues after you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll have to keep troubleshooting.
So, if earwax isn’t the problem, the next likely reason is going to be an infection. This could be a normal ear infection. Or it may be an inner ear infection. In both situations, a hearing evaluation is suggested.
Ear infections of several kinds and causes can generate swelling 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 type of infection up. Once the infection clears, your hearing should return to normal.
It’s also entirely 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 check for that. This is true even if you have rechargeable batteries. Sometimes, changing the batteries with fresh ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
It may also be possible that your hearing loss has changed and your hearing aids need to be adjusted to make up for that. Think about scheduling an appointment for a hearing examination if you haven’t had one in the last year. 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 certainly worth taking some time to come in for a consultation. You might find yourself putting 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 causing hearing damage again.
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 they’re saying you’ll you’ll have a lot more fun.