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 temporary. In other instances, muffled hearing can be a harbinger of more significant hearing-related issues. That’s because, for the most part, hearing loss is a gradually progressing condition. Symptoms progress gradually and over time.

One of the first symptoms of gradually advancing long-term hearing loss is the sense that your hearing is muffled. However, it’s essential to point out that muffled hearing in and of itself is not always a sign of permanent hearing loss. Every year millions of individuals experience muffled hearing.

Maybe you’re wondering if you should be concerned about your muffled hearing. The answer depends on various factors. Finding the proper treatment for your muffled hearing depends on recognizing the underlying cause. Added damage can be avoided and your hearing can get back to normal with some prompt solutions. Contacting us for a consultation can help you begin this process, typically leading to successful treatments, so you can keep enjoying the sounds of your everyday 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. This results in a noticeable decrease in sound quality. In most cases, individuals with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but things sound quieter or jumbled. Discerning speech and language can be particularly difficult.

Your ears will frequently also feel clogged up when your hearing is muffled. Sometimes, when you’re on a plane or have a cold you might experience this feeling. Muffled hearing is not always combined with this feeling, however.

What causes muffled hearing?

There are a lot of potential causes of muffled hearing. In order to develop the suitable course of treatment, it’s important to establish the root cause. Some of the most common causes of muffled hearing include the following:

  • Infection: Swelling of the ear canal will often accompany issues like ear infections or sinus 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 once the underlying illness has been treated.
  • Earwax buildup: Normally, earwax is a positive thing. It helps keep your ear canal healthy. But muffled hearing (and in some instances even hearing loss) can be the consequence of excess earwax. Try a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear to loosen things up. Do not utilize a cotton swab to try to free the earwax, as cotton swabs can condense your earwax and make the issue worse. We can help if the issue persists.
  • Meniere’s Disease: Meniere’s Disease is a long-term balance and hearing issue. Over time, this disease can trigger tinnitus, hearing loss (often beginning with muffled hearing), and dizziness or loss of balance. There’s no cure for Meniere’s Disease, but symptoms can be treated.
  • Age-related hearing loss: As you get older, your hearing can diminish due to natural causes. Needless to say, when you’re 80 all of your senses will be less acute than when you were 18. This natural decline in your ability to hear can cause muffled hearing over time.
  • 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 rather quickly once your physical conditions return to normal.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss caused by noise damage can sometimes result in muffled hearing. Regrettably, this form of hearing loss is normally permanent. One of the first noticeable symptoms is muffled hearing; but by the time you detect the distorted sounds, damage to your stereocilia has probably already taken place. If you don’t seek out treatment quickly, your hearing will rapidly get worse.

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

Can muffled hearing be cured?

Not all kinds of muffled hearing can be cured. The base cause of your muffled hearing will determine the treatment method. We might use some specialized tools to help clean out your ear canal if, for instance, earwax accumulation is at the root of your muffled hearing. Muffled hearing caused by an ear infection will likely clear up once the infection has been treated, so antibiotics are frequently prescribed.

In terms of sensorineural hearing loss, the focus changes to symptom management as opposed to a total cure. That’s because sensorineural hearing loss can’t be cured. But it is possible to manage symptoms. This may take a number of forms, but the most prevalent is the use of a pair of hearing aids in order to bring clarity to what you hear.

With hearing aids, you can keep enjoying 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. For instance, ear infections and sinus infections are difficult to easily avoid.

However, in most cases, regular hearing tests can help you avoid many of the causes of muffled hearing and identify any permanent hearing loss early. 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.
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