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Robby Young's Hearing Aid Center - Coachella Valley, CA

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 get caught up, check-in, and, have a laugh.

But when you get online you notice, to your horror and frustration, that you can’t hear very well. You’re wearing your hearing aids but things still sound muffled.

You’re incredibly disappointed.

Modern marvels muffled

It’s well recognized that you can experience crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So when that doesn’t occur, that can be very discouraging. Hearing aids are supposed to help you hear better, right? But your hearing aids are not helping your hearing. In fact, they’re making everything sound muffled. The issue might not be the hearing aid at all.

Why do my hearing aids sound muffled?

All right, so, if the hearing aid is working correctly, why does everybody 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. The problem with your hearing aid might be an accumulation of earwax against the microphone. The earwax impedes your hearing aid’s ability to detect sound and, as a result, the amplification is muffled.

You might be able to determine if earwax is the issue by:

  • Turning the hearing aid on. If the start-up music and dings all sound normal, but speech is later muffled, the issue is likely with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the likely reason).
  • Visually look over your hearing aids. Don’t simply put your hearing aid in without getting a good look at it. If you see earwax, try to remove it.

It’s also possible that earwax has accumulated not on your hearing aid but in your ear. Be sure, in those instances, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). If the muffled problem continues once you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll need to keep troubleshooting.


So, if earwax isn’t the issue, the next likely culprit is going to be an infection. This could be a normal ear infection. Sometimes, it may be an inner ear infection. Both are worth making an appointment for an assessment.

Ear infections of several kinds and causes can produce swelling in your ear canal or middle ear. Your hearing will then sound muffled as this inflammation blocks the transmission of sound. Treatments may include some antibiotics. Once the infection clears, your hearing should go back to normal.


You just have to change your battery. Hearing aids can sound muffled when the batteries get low so be sure to check for that. Even if you have rechargeable batteries this can be true. Sometimes, switching out the batteries with new ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.

Hearing loss

It may also be possible that your hearing loss has changed and your hearing aids need to be adjusted to compensate for that. If you haven’t had your hearing tested in the last year or so, consider scheduling an appointment. 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 your hearing is still muffled, it’s certainly worth taking some time to come in for a consultation. If the muffled sounds linger, you could find yourself wearing your hearing aids less (or cranking up the volume on your TV again). And all of that could begin renewed hearing damage.

Letting it linger is not a good plan. If you can’t clear out some earwax and get hearing again, schedule a hearing test 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 enjoy yourself a lot more.

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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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