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 grandchild and you’ve been anticipating it all week! You’ll have a great time and catch-up with your cherished family members.

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’re incredibly discouraged.

Modern marvels muffled

It’s well recognized that you can achieve crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So it can be really, really discouraging when that doesn’t happen. Hearing aids are supposed to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids are not helping your hearing. Actually, they’re making everything sound muffled. The hearing aid itself may not even be the problem.

Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?

All right, 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 fix the issue.


If I had a nickel for every issue 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 may be the source of your trouble. The earwax impedes your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound and, as a result, the amplification is muffled.

Here are some signs that earwax may be the problem.:

  • Power-up the hearing aid. If the start-up songs and dings all sound fine, but speech is later muffled, the issue is likely with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the most likely reason).
  • Doing a visual assessment. Don’t just put your hearing aid in without getting 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 instances, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). If the muffled issue continues once you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll have to continue troubleshooting.


Infection will be the next thing to consider if earwax isn’t responsible. This could be a normal ear infection. Sometimes, it could be an inner ear infection. In both situations, a hearing evaluation is recommended.

Ear infections of several kinds and causes can produce inflammation in your ear canal or middle ear. This inflammation blocks the transmission of sound and, consequently, your hearing is muffled. Usually, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. When the infection has cleared, your hearing should return to normal.


It’s also altogether possible that your hearing aid batteries are in need to be charged. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries are drained so be sure to check for that. This is true even if you have rechargeable batteries. It’s possible, in many instances, that your hearing aids will become crystal clear again after you replace the batteries with fresh ones.

Hearing loss

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

Don’t let it linger

If you try all this troubleshooting and nothing really helps, 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 resolve this muffling problem. And all of that could begin renewed hearing damage.

So, don’t let it linger. If you can’t clean out some earwax and get hearing again, schedule a hearing exam with us today and get everything cleared up before your next family get-together. If you can actually hear what everyone is 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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