My hearing sounds muffled when I remove my hearing aids

I am a first time HA user and have had the Phonak Marvel 90 R/T since October. I notice that when I have them off, that my hearing sounds muffled? Was wondering if my hearing has worsened or whether my brain is now used to the new way of hearing for me. Can hearing aids be too loud and thus cause damage to my ears?


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I don’t know your answer but I also feel like I don’t hear as well when I go to bed from when I wake up. It’s like my hearing aids makes my hearing worse.

I think it’s down to the brain but not 100% sure.

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Sure sounds like you have acclimated to hearing aids. My bet is your brain has learned all the new sounds it didn’t hear before you got hearing aids. Now your world is dull and muffled without aids.

Your description has been mentioned many times on the forum wondering the same things you are asking about.

To me this is an accomplishment on your part.


Sure once you have gotten use to hearing aids and the sound you have with the aids, then you take the aids off you are going to hear things muffled. That difference is the difference between what you would hear with near normal hearing and with your hearing loss.
I will always stay this hearing aids will never give you back normal hearing just better hearing hopefully.


It means your brain has adapted to your hearing aids. So when you take them off it will sound that you have suffered more loss than when you remember. Remember how when you first wore your aids everything sounded loud. Eventually the brain adjusts to that and assume that’s normal hearing. Take those aids out and your brain will with time readjust. But to take them out say to sleep and everything will seem a lot quieter. That’s normal. Which is why people who say they were allowed to walk around a store for an hour to see if they like their new aids are kidding themselves. A week or two in real word situations would give them a better idea. Every hearing aid is going to sound louder the first hour you wear them


While I’m hardly an old timer, I have been wearing HAs for 7½ years now. For all practical purposes, my hearing tests indicate that my own hearing has not declined in that time. But, I notice a dramatic difference in my hearing ability with the HAs as compared to without. So, I’m guessing you’re just experiencing what the other commentators have mentioned: with the HAs you get used to hearing better so that without HAs your natural hearing deficit has become more noticeable.


That is great that your hearing loss is stable.

When I first tried hearing aids (in costco, about 6 years ago), they programmed a set for me to walk around the store with just to try. I walked around for about 15 minutes, and thought, “this would be a huge waste of money, I don’t hear any differently”. So I walked back to the hearing center and took them out. Taking them out sounded like I was putting my head inside a five gallon bucket, such a huge difference. That is when I knew I would benefit from hearing aids. And I have, immensely.


I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 22 years. I experience what the original poster has found all the time. I hear well with the HAs in, and things go muffled with them out. No big deal. I love it whenever I get new aids as I can once again hear stuff I’d been missing as my hearing degraded and the aids lost their ability to make up for my loss.

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Even if you work in a boiler-rivet factory, it is unlikely a Marvel (any high-class HA) will go loud enough to damage your hearing.

I can hear mine turn-down at what I used to call “medium loud”.

Yes, through the 1940s a “high power” HA would use a 3V earpiece with a 12V battery and if subjected to loud sound could get LOUD. But that was a very long time ago. I recently autopsied a very-very-very low-cost aid without actual limiter, it was just too lame to do much harm.

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Normal. Your brain has adjusted to the hearing-aid-level of sound. Without them, everything is muffled, softer or in some frequencies not coming through at all (depending on your loss).


When I take out my hearing aids, the Invisible Man throws an invisible heavy wet woolen blanket over my head. Sounds like you’ve got your own Invisible Man. :smile:


I thought maybe it was my spouse messing with me and mumbling every time she caught me with my HAs out. But, perhaps it’s the “invisible friend” so many people warned me about, although he’s not exactly a friend, huh?


when ever I take my aids off it is like I am wearing ear plugs. And I am not talking about the ones that just knock down the sound of gun fire I am talking about total blocking of sound.

I have this same issue. To me the same thing happens when I wear ear plugs when I am skeet shooting or if I have been swimming with ear plugs inserted. It takes awhile but my ears will clear. Yes I am sure part of it is with HA’s out vs in, but I would bet the ear tubes,etc have a lot to do with it. I have moderate hearing loss in one ear and the issue with tones(?- soft spoken voices ,etc). I have purposely left my HA’s out for 2 days this week. While I don’t hear well in my bad ear, I do not have the head in a bucket muffled experience. I would love if an ENT Doc. or a Knowledgeable Audiologist would weigh in on this topic.

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Me too. Thats when I realised that I got used to them after many months (if not years) of wearing “part-time”.

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Amazing and gratifying that almost everyone has had similar experiences. When I first started wearing hearing aids, I tried to minimize the time I used them or kept them for important occasions. Several years ago, I went “all in,” and started wearing my aids from the moment I wake up until I went to bed. Still, I take a day off once in a while. It’s not so much my hearing is muffled as it is that I am no longer plugged into what is happening around me. It’s kind of like a fog. My hearing has certainly deteriorated to some extent with aging, but that is not the main thing. I know I have become dependent on my hearing aids, which is not a bad thing. --Steve

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I wear my aids from the time it get up to I go to bed. If I wish to “unplug” I mute my aids and turn on the tinnitus relief. For me I cannot take my tinnitus anymore when my aids or out.

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Helpful response, thank you. For me, when I take HAs out at night, it’s like switching off the world and when I put them in in the morning it springs to life again. I have grown to like that.

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Someone suggested that an ENT specialist respond to the drop in hearing immediately after taking your aids out. I will guess everyone experiences that. From what I have read I believe it is your brain’s response to louder sounds (turning it down) and when you take them out it takes a while to adjust to the new natural sound level.

I have greater high frequent loss than most people commenting here, and in my experience there are MANY situations where my aids are actually detrimental to understanding. Noisy environments are one of them.

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