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

There are a large number of reasons for muffled hearing. For most individuals, it’s a short-term situation. But muffled hearing can also be a sign that a more severe hearing issue is occurring. In part, that’s because, outside of sudden hearing loss, hearing loss is usually not a condition that develops suddenly. Symptoms appear gradually over a long time period.

Typically, one of the first noticeable symptoms is a sense that sounds feel muffled, distorted, or quieter. Muffled hearing, however, isn’t necessarily an indication that you are developing long-term hearing loss. Indeed, millions of individuals experience muffled hearing every year.

Maybe you’re wondering if you should be worried about your muffled hearing. The answer depends on various factors. Finding the correct treatment for your muffled hearing depends on recognizing the underlying cause. Prompt solutions can sometimes help get your hearing back to normal, or, at least reduce possible damage. Contacting us for a consultation can help you start this process, typically leading to successful treatments, so you can continue enjoying the sounds of your day-to-day life.

What is muffled hearing?

When sound can’t move through your outer, middle, and inner ear in a normal way, your hearing can sound muffled. A very noticeable decline in sound quality is the outcome. In the majority of instances, those with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but things sound quieter or jumbled. This might particularly affect your ability to discern and understand voices and spoken language.

Your ears will frequently also feel clogged up when your hearing is muffled. Many individuals have experienced this feeling temporarily, for example, when they have a cold or are flying. Muffled hearing is not always combined with this feeling, however.

What causes muffled hearing?

There are lots of possible causes of muffled hearing. In order to establish the correct course of treatment, it’s important to establish the root cause. Here are a few of the most prevalent causes:

  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss caused by noise-related damage can sometimes cause muffled hearing. Sadly, this type of hearing loss is usually permanent. Muffled hearing is frequently one of the earliest noticeable symptoms; but by the time you notice the distorted sounds, damage to your stereocilia has likely already taken place. If you don’t find treatment quickly, your hearing will rapidly get worse.
  • Infection: Inflammation of the ear canal will often accompany issues like ear infections or sinus infections. This will diminish your ability to hear by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Muffled hearing symptoms brought on by infections will normally clear up once the underlying illness has been dealt with.
  • Age-related hearing loss: As you get older, your hearing can decline due to natural causes. Needless to say, when you’re 80 all of your senses will be less sharp than when you were 18. Over time, muffled hearing can be the outcome of this natural diminishing of your ability to hear.
  • Earwax buildup: Normally, earwax is a good thing. The health of your ear canal relies on the production of earwax. However, too much earwax can ultimately cause muffled hearing (or even hearing loss). This earwax can usually be loosened up by using a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide. Do not use a cotton swab to try to dislodge the earwax, as cotton swabs can condense your earwax and make the issue worse. We can help if the issue continues.
  • Travel: Altitude changes, such as when you’re on a plane, can cause a feeling of muffled ears. Your hearing will go back to normal relatively quickly once your physical conditions return to normal.
  • Meniere’s Disease: Meniere’s Disease is a long-term balance and hearing issue. Dizziness, balance issues, tinnitus, and muffled ears will manifest over time as a result of this disease. The symptoms of Menier’s disease can be treated but not cured.

Depending on the underlying cause, the precise symptoms of muffled hearing will differ.

Is there a cure for muffled hearing?

Some types of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The treatment for your muffled hearing will change depending on the underlying cause. For instance, if excessive earwax buildup is the primary cause, we might use specific tools to help you clear out your ear canal. Muffled hearing caused by an ear infection will usually clear up once the infection has been treated, so antibiotics are often prescribed.

Symptom management is usually the strategy when you have sensorineural hearing loss rather than a cure. That’s because sensorineural hearing loss can’t be cured. However, symptoms can be controlled. There may be several approaches to this treatment including a set of hearing aids.

With hearing aids, you can continue to enjoy your day-to-day activities without hearing loss impacting your quality of life.

Avoiding muffled hearing

Some forms of muffled hearing are hard to avoid, no matter what. Infections, for example, can’t always be avoided.

Having your hearing examined, however, can help detect any causes of muffled hearing and can help avoid any long-term hearing loss that might be developing. These checkups can help you stay on top of your hearing health and get treatment promptly.

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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.

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