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 the majority of individuals, it’s a short-term experience. But muffled hearing can also be an indication that a more severe hearing issue is taking place. That’s because, in general, hearing loss is a gradually progressing condition. Symptoms build gradually and over time.

One of the earliest symptoms of slowly developing long-term hearing loss is the feeling that your hearing is muffled. Muffled hearing, however, isn’t always a sign that you are developing long-term hearing loss. Indeed, millions of individuals experience muffled hearing every year.

You might be wondering: when do I need to be concerned about muffled hearing? Generally, the answer varies. Finding the best treatment for your muffled hearing depends on recognizing the root cause. Added damage can be avoided 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.

What is muffled hearing?

Muffled hearing takes place when sound is unable to travel through your outer, middle, and inner ear in the way that it normally does. This leads to a noticeable decrease in sound quality. In the majority of cases, those with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but things sound quieter or jumbled. Discerning speech and language can be especially tough.

Your ears will often also feel plugged up when your hearing is muffled. Sometimes, when you’re on a plane or suffering from a cold you might experience this feeling. Muffled hearing isn’t always associated with this feeling, however.

Causes of muffled hearing

There are a lot of possible causes of muffled hearing. In order to establish the appropriate course of treatment, it’s essential to determine the root cause. Some of the most prevalent causes of muffled hearing include the following:

  • Hearing loss related to age: Most people will experience diminishing hearing as they age. After all, there are few senses as acute when you are 80 as they were when you are 18. Over time, muffled hearing can be the outcome of this natural decline of your hearing.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss which results from noise-related damage can sometimes result in muffled hearing. This form of hearing loss is, sadly, normally permanent. Muffled hearing is often one of the earliest detectable symptoms; but by the time you detect the distorted sounds, damage to your stereocilia has most likely already happened. You should seek out treatment rapidly to avoid your hearing getting significantly worse quickly.
  • Earwax buildup: Normally, earwax is a good thing. It helps keep your ear canal healthy. However, excessive earwax can eventually cause muffled hearing (or even hearing loss). Try a few 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 push the wax further up into the ear canal. If the problem persists, come in and see us.
  • Infection: Inflammation of the ear canal will frequently accompany problems such as ear infections or sinus infections. This swelling can cause your ear canal to be completely blocked, effectively reducing your ability to hear. Muffled hearing symptoms caused by infections will normally go away once the underlying illness has been dealt with.
  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from chronic hearing and balance issues. Over time, this disease can trigger tinnitus, hearing loss (frequently beginning with muffled hearing), and dizziness or loss of balance. The symptoms of Menier’s disease can be managed but not cured.
  • Travel: Altitude changes, like 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.

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

Can muffled hearing be cured?

Not all forms of muffled hearing can be cured. The treatment for your muffled hearing will differ depending on the base cause. We might use some special tools to help clean out your ear canal if, for example, earwax accumulation is at the root of your muffled hearing. Antibiotics are typically prescribed if your muffled hearing is being caused by an infection.

In terms of sensorineural hearing loss, the focus changes to symptom management instead of a total cure. That’s because there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it is possible to manage symptoms. There might be several strategies to this treatment including a pair of hearing aids.

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

How to avoid muffled hearing in the first place

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 examined, however, can help detect any causes of muffled hearing and can help avoid any long-term hearing loss that might be developing. These examinations 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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