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

There are a wide variety of reasons for muffled hearing. In the majority of cases, this situation is short-term. In other instances, muffled hearing can be a harbinger of more significant hearing-related issues. That’s because, in general, hearing loss is a gradually progressing condition. Symptoms show up slowly over a long time period.

One of the first symptoms of slowly progressing long-term hearing loss is the sense that your hearing is muffled. However, it’s important to mention that muffled hearing in and of itself isn’t always a sign of permanent hearing loss. Indeed, millions of individuals experience muffled hearing every year.

Maybe you’re wondering if you should be worried about your muffled hearing. Generally, the answer tends to vary. Recognizing the root cause of your muffled hearing is essential to finding the right treatment plan. Timely 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, often resulting in successful treatments, so you can keep enjoying the sounds of your day-to-day life.

What is muffled hearing?

Muffled hearing occurs when sound is not able to move through your outer, middle, and inner ear in the way that it ordinarily does. This leads to a noticeable drop in sound quality. Hearing won’t be completely gone with muffled hearing but things will sound garbled and quieter. Hearing speech and language can be particularly tough.

In many cases, and depending on the underlying cause, muffled hearing can be combined with a sense of fullness or stuffiness in your ears. Sometimes, when you’re taking a flight or suffering from a cold you might experience this feeling. Muffled hearing isn’t always combined with this feeling, however.

What causes muffled hearing?

Muffled hearing can be caused by a wide variety of issues. In order to establish the correct course of treatment, it’s important to determine the root cause. Here are a few of the most common causes:

  • Travel: The changing altitude related to air travel can often cause a feeling of fullness in the ear, followed closely by muffled hearing. In most cases, this feeling will pass rapidly and your hearing will go back to normal.
  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from chronic hearing and balance issues. Dizziness, balance problems, tinnitus, and muffled ears will develop over time due to this disease. The symptoms of Menier’s disease can be treated but not cured.
  • Earwax buildup: Usually, earwax is a positive thing. It helps keep your ear canal healthy. But muffled hearing (and in some cases even hearing loss) can be the result of too much earwax. Try a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear to loosen the wax up. Do not use a cotton swab to attempt to dislodge the earwax, as cotton swabs can compact your earwax and make the issue worse. If the issue continues, come in and talk to us.
  • Hearing loss related to age: As you age, your hearing can decline as a result of natural causes. After all, there are few senses as acute when you are 80 as when you are 18. This normal diminishing in your ability to hear can cause muffled hearing over time.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: In some cases, muffled hearing can be the outcome of noise-related hearing loss. Sadly, this kind of hearing loss is usually irreversible. Muffled hearing is often one of the earliest noticeable symptoms; but damage to your stereocilia has likely already happened by the time you notice the distorted sounds. You should find treatment promptly to avoid your hearing growing significantly worse quickly.
  • Infection: Sometimes, issues like infections (including sinus infections or ear infections) can result in inflammation in the ear canal (this is particularly true with ear infections). This will decrease your hearing ability by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Muffled hearing symptoms caused by infections will normally go away after the root illness has been treated.

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

Is there a cure for muffled hearing?

Some forms of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The base cause of your muffled hearing will establish the treatment method. We may use some specialized tools to help clear 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 treated, 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 controlled. There might be numerous approaches to this treatment including a pair of hearing aids.

Hearing aids can help you stay connected to loved ones and go about your day-to-day activities without a significantly noticeable impact, especially when this process is initiated promptly.

Avoiding muffled hearing

No matter what you do, some kinds of muffled hearing can’t be prevented. Infections, for example, can’t always be avoided.

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. Contact 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.

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