Why Does my Hearing Aid Sound Muffled?

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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 looking forward to it all week! You’ll be able to catch up, check-in, and, have a laugh.

But when the call starts, you are mortified to realize, you can’t hear what your loved ones are saying. You’re wearing your hearing aids but you still can’t hear anything.

You can’t believe how disappointed you are.

Modern marvels muffled

It’s well recognized that you can attain crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So it can be really, really frustrating when that doesn’t happen. You’re supposed to have clearer hearing with 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.

What’s the cause of that muffling?

Ok, so, if the hearing aid is working properly, why does everybody sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher? Well, there are a couple of things you can do to try to fix the issue.


If I had a dime for every issue that earwax has caused (in general, not me personally), I’d be a rich (but still cranky) man. The issue with your hearing aid might be a build-up of earwax against the microphone. Amplification is muffled when earwax blocks your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound.

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

  • Visually look over your hearing aids. Don’t simply put your hearing aid in without getting a good look at it. Clean it completely if you see any earwax.
  • Turning the hearing aid on. 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 and not on the hearing aid is the problem here. In those cases, be certain to clean out your ears in a safe way (a cotton swab, by the way, is not a safe way). If the muffled problem remains once you’ve cleaned up your hearing aid and your ears, you’ll have to keep troubleshooting.


Infection will be the next thing to consider if earwax isn’t responsible. In many cases, this could be a common ear infection. Sometimes, it may be an inner ear infection. In both cases, a hearing assessment is recommended.

Ear infections of various kinds and causes can produce inflammation in your ear canal or middle ear. Your hearing will then sound muffled as this inflammation blocks the transmission of sound. Usually, antibiotics will clear this kind of infection up. As soon as the infection has cleared, your hearing will usually go back to normal.


It’s also very possible that your hearing aid batteries are in need to be charged. As hearing aids lose power, they sometimes begin to sound, well, muffled (you can see why this would be something to check). This is true even if you have rechargeable batteries. It’s possible, in many cases, that your hearing aids will be crystal clear again after you replace the batteries with new ones.

Hearing loss

If you’re still having problems hearing, don’t discount the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. If you haven’t had a hearing exam in the last year or so, think about making an appointment. While you’re here having your hearing aid adjusted we can also do an inspection and cleaning.

Don’t let it linger

It’s definitely a smart plan to come in for a consultation if you’ve tried all this and your hearing aid still sounds muffled. You may find yourself leaving your hearing aids in a drawer and turning your TV up again if you don’t solve this muffling issue. Your hearing may then begin to sustain additional 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. You’ll enjoy yourself more if you can actually hear what they’re saying!

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.

Why wait? You don’t have to live with hearing loss. Call or Text Us