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

Muffled hearing can happen for a wide variety of reasons. In most instances, this situation is short-term. But muffled hearing can also be a sign that a more serious hearing problem is taking place. Partly, that’s because, outside of sudden hearing loss, hearing loss is usually not a condition that develops suddenly. Symptoms progress gradually and over time.

In many cases, one of the first recognizable symptoms is a sense that sounds feel muffled, distorted, or quieter. However, it’s significant to point out that muffled hearing in and of itself isn’t always an indication of permanent hearing loss. Indeed, millions of people experience muffled hearing each year.

You might be wondering: when do I need to be worried about muffled hearing? Generally, the answer tends to vary. Finding the proper treatment for your muffled hearing depends on understanding the underlying cause. Prompt solutions can sometimes help get your hearing back to normal, or, at least minimize possible harm. You will be able to get 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 travel through your outer, middle, and inner ear in a normal way, your hearing can sound muffled. This results in a noticeable drop in sound quality. Hearing won’t be entirely gone with muffled hearing but things will sound distorted and quieter. Discerning speech and language can be particularly challenging.

In many cases, and depending on the underlying cause, muffled hearing can be associated 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 taking a flight. This plugged feeling, however, doesn’t always come with muffled hearing.

Causes of muffled hearing

There are lots of possible causes of muffled hearing. Determining the underlying cause of your muffled hearing can be important in developing an effective treatment plan. Some of the most prevalent causes of muffled hearing include the following:

  • Age-associated 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. This normal diminishing in your hearing ability can cause muffled hearing over time.
  • Travel: The changing altitude related to 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.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Sometimes, muffled hearing can be the consequence of noise-related hearing loss. This type of hearing loss is, sadly, usually permanent. One of the very first recognizable symptoms is muffled hearing; but by the time you detect 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.
  • Earwax buildup: Earwax is generally a helpful thing. The health of your ear canal depends on the production of earwax. However, excessive earwax can eventually cause muffled hearing (or even hearing loss). This earwax can typically be loosened up by utilizing a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Never try 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 persists.
  • Infection: In some cases, issues such as infections (such as sinus infections or ear infections) can result in inflammation in the ear canal (this is especially true with ear infections). This will decrease your ability to hear by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Once the root infection goes away, any inflammation it caused should also clear.
  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from persistent hearing and balance issues. Dizziness, balance issues, tinnitus, and muffled ears will develop over time due to this disease. There’s no cure for Meniere’s Disease, but symptoms can be treated.

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

Is there a cure for muffled hearing?

Some forms of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The treatment for your muffled hearing will change depending on the base cause. For instance, if excess earwax buildup is the primary cause, we may use specific tools to help you clear out your ear canal. Antibiotics are frequently prescribed if your muffled hearing is being caused by an infection.

Symptom management is usually the strategy when you have sensorineural hearing loss as opposed to a cure. That’s because sensorineural hearing loss can’t be cured. However, symptoms can be controlled. There might be several strategies to this treatment including a pair of hearing aids.

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

Avoiding muffled hearing

No matter what you do, certain forms of muffled hearing can’t be avoided. Infections, for instance, can’t always be avoided.

Having your hearing tested, however, can help detect any causes of muffled hearing and can help prevent any long-term hearing loss that may be developing. These checkups can help you stay on top of your hearing health and get treatment quickly.

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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.