Woman in pain for tinnitus, sound and noise problem. Healthcare, pressure and hearing loss with girl suffering with muffled hearing.

Muffled hearing can present for lots of reasons. For most people, it’s a temporary situation. In other cases, muffled hearing can be a precursor of more serious hearing-related issues. That’s because, for the most part, hearing loss is a slowly progressing condition. Symptoms progress slowly and over time.

Typically, one of the first detectable symptoms is a sense that sounds feel muffled, distorted, or quieter. However, it’s significant to mention that muffled hearing in and of itself isn’t always a sign of long-term hearing loss. Each year millions of people experience muffled hearing.

You might be wondering: when do I need to be concerned about muffled hearing? Generally, the answer tends to vary. Finding the best treatment for your muffled hearing depends on recognizing the root cause. Additional damage can be prevented and your hearing can get back to normal with some prompt solutions. You will be able to go back to enjoying the sounds of your life after you get us to assist you with some successful treatments.

Muffled Hearing – what exactly is it?

When sound can’t move through your outer, middle, and inner ear in a normal way, your hearing can sound muffled. A rather noticeable decline in sound quality is the outcome. In the majority of instances, people with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but everything sounds quieter or jumbled. Hearing speech and language can be particularly challenging.

In many cases, and depending on the root cause, muffled hearing can be combined with a sense of fullness or stuffiness in your ears. Many individuals have experienced this feeling temporarily, for example, when they have a cold or are flying. Muffled hearing isn’t always associated with this feeling, however.

Causes of muffled hearing

Muffled hearing can be caused by a wide variety of problems. Determining the underlying cause of your muffled hearing can be important in developing an effective treatment plan. Here are a few of the most prevalent causes:

  • Hearing loss related to age: Most people will experience diminishing hearing as they age. Obviously, when you’re 80 all of your senses will be less acute than when you were 18. This normal decline in your hearing ability can cause muffled hearing over time.
  • Earwax buildup: Earwax is usually a helpful thing. It helps keep your ear canal healthy. But muffled hearing (and in some cases even hearing loss) can be the result of excess earwax. Try a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear to loosen things up. Never attempt to dislodge stuck earwax by using a cotton swab which will only pack the wax further up into the ear canal. We can help if the problem continues.
  • Infection: In some cases, issues such as infections (including sinus infections or ear infections) can result in inflammation in the ear canal (this is especially true with ear infections). This will decrease your hearing ability by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Once the root infection goes away, any swelling it caused should also clear.
  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from chronic hearing and balance issues. Dizziness, balance issues, tinnitus, and muffled ears will develop over time as a result of this disease. There’s no cure for Meniere’s Disease, but symptoms can be treated.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Sometimes, muffled hearing can be the consequence of noise-related hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is, regrettably, normally permanent. One of the very first noticeable symptoms is muffled hearing; but by the time you notice the distorted sounds, damage to your stereocilia has most likely already occurred. You should seek out treatment rapidly to avoid your hearing growing significantly worse quickly.
  • Travel: The changing altitude associated with air travel can frequently cause a feeling of fullness in the ear, followed closely by muffled hearing. Your hearing will go back to normal fairly quickly once your physical conditions return to normal.

The precise symptoms of muffled hearing will differ depending on the base cause.

Is there a cure for muffled hearing?

Not all forms of muffled hearing can be cured. The root cause of your muffled hearing will establish the treatment strategy. We might use some special tools to help clean out your ear canal if, for example, earwax buildup is at the root of your muffled hearing. Muffled hearing caused by an ear infection will typically clear up once the infection has been addressed, so antibiotics are usually prescribed.

Symptom management is usually the approach when you’re dealing with sensorineural hearing loss as opposed to a cure. That’s because there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. However, symptoms can be managed. There might be numerous approaches to this treatment including a set of hearing aids.

Hearing aids can help you remain connected to loved ones and tackle your day-to-day activities without a substantially noticeable impact, especially when this process is started quickly.

How to avoid muffled hearing in the first place

Some forms of muffled hearing are hard to avoid, no matter what. For instance, ear infections and sinus infections are difficult to reliably avoid.

Getting your hearing tested, however, can help identify any causes of muffled hearing and can help prevent any long-term hearing loss that might be developing. Call us for an appointment right away.

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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.