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’re having a Zoom call with your granddaughter and you’ve been waiting for it all week! You’ll be able to catch up, check-in, and, laugh.

But when you log in you notice, to your sadness and disappointment, that you can’t hear properly. Your hearing aids are in, but everything seems muffled.

You can’t believe how disappointed you are.

Modern marvels muffled

Modern hearing aids are known for their ability to provide crystal clear sounds. So it can be really, really aggravating when that doesn’t occur. You should have better hearing when you’re using hearing aids, right? But your hearing aids are not helping your hearing. In fact, they’re making everything sound muffled. The hearing aid itself might not even be the problem.

Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?

So why do voices sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher if your hearing aids are functioning properly? Well, there are several things you can do to fix the problem.


You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. Earwax may have accumulated against the microphone and that may be the source of your trouble. The earwax interferes with your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound and, hence, the amplification is muffled.

You may be able to determine if earwax is the problem by:

  • Visually look over your hearing aids. In other words, take a good look at the device before you put it in your ear. If you see earwax, try to remove it.
  • 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 turn on the hearing aid.

Alternatively, it’s possible that earwax in your ear rather than on the hearing aid is the issue here. 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). The troubleshooting will have to continue if the muffled sound persists even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.


So, if earwax isn’t the issue, the next likely reason is going to be an infection. In many cases, this could be a common ear infection. Or it might be an inner ear infection. Both are worth setting up an appointment for an evaluation.

Ear infections of various kinds and causes can create inflammation in your ear canal or middle ear. This swelling blocks the transmission of sound and, consequently, the sound you’re hearing is muffled. Treatments might include some antibiotics. Once the infection goes away, your hearing will usually go back to normal.


It’s also very possible that your hearing aid batteries need to be changed. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries are drained so be sure to check for that. This is still true even if your batteries are rechargeable. Sometimes, replacing the batteries with fresh ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.

Hearing loss

If you’re still having problems hearing, don’t dismiss the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. Consider scheduling an appointment for a hearing exam if you haven’t had one in the past year. While you’re here having your hearing aid reprogrammed we can also do an inspection and cleaning.

Don’t let it linger

It’s certainly a good idea to come see us for a consultation if you’ve tried all this and your hearing aid is still muffled. You may find yourself putting your hearing aids in a drawer and turning your TV up again if you don’t eliminate this muffling issue. Your hearing may then start to sustain further damage.

Letting it linger is not a wise idea. Schedule an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family get-together. If you can actually hear what they’re saying you’ll you’ll have a lot more fun.

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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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