You’re having a Zoom call with your granddaughter and you’ve been anticipating it all week! You’ll be able to get caught up, check-in, and, have a laugh.
But when you log in you realize, to your sadness and disappointment, that you can’t hear very well. You’re wearing your hearing aids but you still can’t hear anything.
You can’t believe how discouraged you are.
Modern marvels muffled
It’s well known that you can achieve crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So when that doesn’t happen, that can be really frustrating. You should have better hearing when you’re using hearing aids, right? But, lately, every time you’ve turned your hearing aids on, everything has sounded muffled and distorted (and that’s definitely not an improvement over your regular hearing). The problem may not be the hearing aid at all.
What’s causing 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 fix the issue.
If I had a nickel for every problem that earwax has caused (in general, not me personally), I’d be a rich (but still cranky) man. Earwax may have accumulated against the microphone and that could be the source of your trouble. The earwax inhibits your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound and, as a result, the amplification is muffled.
Here are some indications that earwax may be the issue.:
- Visually look over your hearing aids. Don’t simply put your hearing aid in without taking a good look at it. Clean it completely if you see any earwax.
- Turning the hearing aid on. The issue 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.
Alternatively, it’s possible that earwax in your ear and not on the hearing aid is the problem here. Make sure, in those cases, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). If the muffled issue persists after you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll have to keep troubleshooting.
Infection will be the next thing to think about if earwax isn’t accountable. Sometimes, this could be a standard ear infection. Or it might be an inner ear infection. In both cases, a hearing evaluation is suggested.
Ear infections of several kinds and causes can generate inflammation in your ear canal or middle ear. Your hearing will then sound muffled as this inflammation blocks the transmission of sound. Normally, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. Once the infection clears, your hearing will usually return to normal.
It’s also altogether possible that your hearing aid batteries need to be changed. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries are drained so be sure to watch for that. This is still true even if your batteries are rechargeable. Sometimes, switching out the batteries with new ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.
If you’re still having difficulty hearing, don’t discount the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. Think about scheduling an appointment for a hearing test if you haven’t had one in the last year. Not only will you be able to make sure your hearing aids are properly programmed, 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 definitely worth taking some time to come in for a consultation. You might find yourself putting your hearing aids in a drawer and cranking your TV up again if you don’t resolve this muffling problem. Your hearing may then start to sustain additional damage.
So, don’t let it linger. If you are unable to clear out some earwax and get hearing again, schedule a hearing exam with us today and get everything taken care of before your next family get-together. If you can actually hear what they’re saying you’ll you’ll have a lot more fun.