HEARING TIPS

Happy mature middle aged adult woman wearing hearing aids waving hand holding digital tablet computer video conference calling by social distance virtual family online chat meeting sitting on couch at home

You’ve been looking forward to this all week: a Zoom call with your grandchildren. You’ll be able to catch up, check-in, and, have a laugh.

But when the call starts, you are mortified to find out, you can’t hear what your family members are saying. You’re wearing your hearing aids but things still sound muffled.

You can’t believe how discouraged you are.

Modern marvels muffled

Modern hearing aids are celebrated for their ability to produce crystal clear sounds. So when that doesn’t occur, that can be very frustrating. Hearing aids are designed to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids aren’t improving your hearing. In fact, they’re making everything sound muffled. The hearing aid itself might not even be the problem.

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.

Earwax

You’d be rich if you had a nickel for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax may have accumulated against the microphone and that could be the source of your problem. Amplification is muffled when earwax obstructs 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. The issue is likely to be the microphone (probably wax accumulation) and not the speaker if all of the start-up sounds are normal when you turn on the hearing aid.
  • Visually inspect your hearing aids. Don’t simply put your hearing aid in without taking a good look at it. If you notice any earwax, try to clean it off.

It’s also possible that earwax has accumulated not on your hearing aid but in your ear. Make sure, in those situations, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). If the muffled problem persists after you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll have to continue troubleshooting.

Infection

Infection will be the next thing to consider if earwax isn’t accountable. Sometimes, this could be a standard ear infection. Sometimes, it could be an inner ear infection. In both situations, a hearing assessment is suggested.

Swelling of the ear canal and middle ear can be the outcome of both kinds of infection. This swelling blocks the transmission of sound and, therefore, the sound you’re hearing is muffled. Management may include some antibiotics. Once the infection clears, your hearing will usually return to normal.

Batteries

You just need to change your battery. As hearing aids lose power, they sometimes start to sound, well, muffled (you can see why this would be something to check). This is true even if your batteries are rechargeable. It’s possible, in many cases, that your hearing aids will become crystal clear again after you replace the batteries with fresh ones.

Hearing loss

It may also be feasible that your hearing loss has changed and your hearing aids need to be adjusted to make up for that. Consider making an appointment for a hearing test if you haven’t had one in the past year. While you’re here getting your hearing aid reprogrammed we can also do an inspection and cleaning.

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 and see us. If your muffled hearing lingers, you might find yourself using your hearing aids less (or turning up the volume on your TV again). And all of that could begin causing hearing damage again.

Letting it linger is not a smart plan. If you are unable to clean out some earwax and get hearing again, schedule a hearing assessment with us today and get everything taken care of before your next family event. If you can actually hear what everyone is saying you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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