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 granddaughter and you’ve been anticipating it all week! You’ll have a great time and get caught up with your cherished family members.

But when the call begins, you are mortified to realize, you can’t hear what your loved ones are saying. Your hearing aids are in, but everything sounds muffled.

You’re incredibly disappointed.

Modern marvels muffled

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

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 correct the issue.


You’d be rich if you had a dime for every time earwax caused trouble. The problem with your hearing aid could be a build-up of earwax against the microphone. The earwax impedes your hearing aid’s ability to pick up sound and, as a result, the amplification is muffled.

You may be able to tell if earwax is the issue by:

  • Visually look over your hearing aids. Don’t just put your hearing aid in without taking a good look at it. Clean it completely if you notice any earwax.
  • Power-up the hearing aid. If the start-up songs and dings all sound normal, but speech is later muffled, the issue is probably with the microphone and not the speaker (and wax is the most likely culprit).

Alternatively, it’s possible that earwax in your ear and not on the hearing aid is the issue here. Be sure, in those cases, you safely clean out your ears (cotton swabs are not recommended). The troubleshooting will need 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 culprit will be an infection. This could be a common ear infection. Or it might be an inner ear infection. In both cases, a hearing evaluation is recommended.

Ear infections of several kinds and causes can produce swelling in your ear canal or middle ear. This swelling blocks the transmission of sound and, therefore, the sound you’re hearing is muffled. Normally, antibiotics will clear this type of infection up. Once the infection has cleared, your hearing will usually return to normal.


You just have to change your battery. As hearing aids lose power, they sometimes start to sound, well, muffled (you can see why this would be something to check). This is true even if your batteries are rechargeable. Sometimes, switching out 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 ignore the possibility that your hearing loss has changed. Think about making an appointment for a hearing examination if you haven’t had one in the last year. While you’re here getting your hearing aid reprogrammed we can also do an inspection and cleaning.

Don’t let it linger

It’s certainly a good plan to come see us 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 problem. Your hearing may then start to sustain further damage.

So, don’t let it linger. If you are unable to clean out some earwax and get hearing again, schedule a hearing assessment with us today and get everything cleared up before your next family event. You’ll have more fun if you can actually hear what everyone is saying!

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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