My Hearing Sounds Muffled?

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 blast and get caught up with your cherished family members.

But when the call starts, you are mortified to find out, you can’t hear what your loved ones are saying. Your hearing aids are in, but everything seems muffled.

You’re incredibly discouraged.

Modern marvels muffled

It’s well recognized that you can attain crystal clear sound with modern hearing aids. So when that doesn’t happen, that can be really discouraging. You’re supposed to have better hearing with hearing aids, right? But your hearing aids are not helping your hearing. Actually, 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 a few things you can do to try to fix the issue.


You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. The issue with your hearing aid could be an accumulation of earwax against the microphone. The earwax inhibits your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound and, thus, the amplification is muffled.

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

  • 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. In other words, take a good look at the device before you put it in your ear. If you see earwax, try to clean it off.

It’s also possible that earwax has accumulated not on your hearing aid but inside of your ear. Be sure, in those situations, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). The troubleshooting will need to continue if the muffled sound remains even after you’ve cleaned your ears and your hearing aid.


So, if earwax isn’t the problem, the next likely culprit is going to be an infection. In many cases, this could be a standard ear infection. Sometimes, it might be an inner ear infection. In both instances, a hearing assessment is suggested.

Swelling of the ear canal and middle ear can be the outcome of both kinds of infection. This inflammation blocks the transmission of sound and, therefore, your hearing is muffled. Treatments might include some antibiotics. Once the infection has cleared, your hearing should go back to normal.


You just need to change your battery. As hearing aids drain, they sometimes start to sound, well, muffled (you can see why this should be something to check). This is true even if your batteries are rechargeable. Sometimes, changing the batteries with new ones can make your hearing aids sound crystal clear again.

Hearing loss

If you’re still having difficulty hearing, don’t dismiss the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. Think about making an appointment for a hearing test if you haven’t had one in the last year. Not only will you be able to be certain your hearing aids are correctly programmed, but we will also be able to do a professional clean and check on your device.

Don’t let it linger

It’s definitely a good plan to come in for a consultation if you’ve tried all this and your hearing aid still sounds muffled. You might find yourself leaving your hearing aids in a drawer and cranking your TV up again if you don’t solve this muffling issue. And all of that could begin causing hearing damage again.

Letting it linger is not a smart idea. Schedule an appointment with us so you can get back to hearing before that big family event. If you can actually hear what they’re saying you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.

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.