Causes of Muffled Hearing and Some Solutions

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 most instances, this condition is short-term. 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 slowly and over time.

One of the first symptoms of slowly developing long-term hearing loss is the sense that your hearing is muffled. However, it’s significant to point out that muffled hearing in and of itself isn’t always a sign of long-term hearing loss. Indeed, millions of people experience muffled hearing each year.

Perhaps you’re wondering if you should be concerned about your muffled hearing. Generally, the answer tends to vary. Understanding the root cause of your muffled hearing is essential to finding the right treatment approach. 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.

Muffled Hearing – what exactly is it?

Muffled hearing occurs when sound is unable to move through your outer, middle, and inner ear in the way that it normally does. This leads to a noticeable decrease in sound quality. Hearing won’t be completely gone with muffled hearing but things will sound garbled and quieter. This might particularly impact your ability to discern and understand voices and spoken language.

In many cases, and depending on the root cause, muffled hearing can be associated with a sense of fullness or stuffiness in your ears. Sometimes, when you’re taking a flight or suffering from a cold you may 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. Figuring out the root cause of your muffled hearing can be essential in establishing an effective treatment plan. Some of the most common causes of muffled hearing include the following:

  • Earwax buildup: Earwax is generally a helpful thing. It helps keep your ear canal healthy. However, too much earwax can ultimately cause muffled hearing (or even loss of hearing). Try a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear to loosen the wax up. Do not utilize a cotton swab to try to dislodge the earwax, as cotton swabs can condense your earwax and make the issue worse. If the issue lingers, come in and see us.
  • Age-related hearing loss: Most people will experience decreasing hearing as they get older. Obviously, 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 normal diminishing of your ability to hear.
  • Travel: Altitude changes, such as when you’re on a plane, can lead to a feeling of muffled ears. Your hearing will go back to normal relatively quickly once your physical conditions return to normal.
  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from chronic hearing and balance issues. Dizziness, balance issues, tinnitus, and muffled ears will develop over time as a result of this disease. There is no cure for Meniere’s Disease, but symptoms can be managed.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Sometimes, muffled hearing can be the consequence of noise-related hearing loss. Unfortunately, this form of hearing loss is usually permanent. One of the first recognizable symptoms is muffled hearing; but by the time you detect the distorted sounds, damage to your stereocilia has likely already taken place. You should seek out treatment rapidly to avoid your hearing growing substantially worse quickly.
  • Infection: Inflammation of the ear canal will often accompany problems like ear infections or sinus infections. This will decrease your ability to hear by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Muffled hearing symptoms due to infections will usually clear up after the underlying illness has been treated.

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

Is there a cure for muffled hearing?

Some types of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The treatment for your muffled hearing will differ depending on the root cause. For instance, if excess earwax buildup is the principal cause, we may use specific tools to help you clear out your ear canal. Muffled hearing caused by an ear infection will typically clear up once the infection has been managed, so antibiotics are frequently prescribed.

Symptom management is generally 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 managed. There may be numerous approaches to this treatment including a pair of hearing aids.

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

How to steer clear of muffled hearing in the first place

No matter what you do, certain kinds of muffled hearing can’t be prevented. For instance, ear infections and sinus infections are hard to reliably avoid.

However, in most cases, routine hearing tests can help you avoid many of the causes of muffled hearing and detect any permanent hearing loss early. These checkups can help you stay on top of your hearing health and get treatment promptly.

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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