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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. In the majority of instances, this situation is temporary. But muffled hearing can also be a sign that a more serious hearing issue is taking place. That’s because, in general, hearing loss is a slowly progressing condition. Symptoms appear slowly over a long period of time.

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

You might be wondering: when should I be worried about muffled hearing? Generally, the answer tends to vary. Recognizing the root cause of your muffled hearing is crucial to finding the best treatment approach. Additional damage can be avoided and your hearing can get back to normal with some prompt solutions. Calling us for a consultation can help you begin this process, often resulting in successful treatments, so you can keep enjoying the sounds of your everyday life.

Muffled Hearing – what exactly is it?

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 results in a noticeable decrease in sound quality. In most instances, people with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but things sound quieter or distorted. Discerning speech and language can be particularly tough.

Your ears will frequently also feel plugged up when your hearing is muffled. Many individuals have experienced this feeling for a short time, for instance, when they have a cold or are flying. Muffled hearing isn’t always associated with this feeling, however.

What causes muffled hearing?

Muffled hearing can be caused by all kinds of issues. Determining the underlying cause of your muffled hearing can be significant in establishing an effective treatment plan. Here are a few of the most common causes:

  • Earwax buildup: Usually, earwax is a good thing. The health of your ear canal relies on the production of earwax. However, excessive earwax can eventually cause muffled hearing (or even loss of hearing). This earwax can usually be loosened up by using a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide. Never try to dislodge stuck earwax with a cotton swab which will only push the wax further up into the ear canal. If the issue continues, come in and see us.
  • Age-related hearing loss: As you get older, your hearing can diminish as a result of natural causes. After all, there are few senses as sharp when you are 80 as they were when you are 18. This normal diminishing in your hearing ability can cause muffled hearing over time.
  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from chronic hearing and balance issues. Over time, this disease can cause tinnitus, hearing loss (often starting with muffled hearing), and dizziness or loss of balance. There is no cure for Meniere’s Disease, but symptoms can be managed.
  • Infection: Sometimes, issues like infections (such as sinus infections or ear infections) can cause inflammation in the ear canal (this is especially true with ear infections). This will diminish your hearing ability by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Muffled hearing symptoms due to infections will typically go away after the root illness has been dealt with.
  • Travel: Altitude changes, like when you’re on a plane, can lead to a feeling of muffled ears. 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 result of noise-related hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss is, unfortunately, generally permanent. Muffled hearing is frequently one of the earliest detectable symptoms; but by the time you detect the distorted sounds, damage to your stereocilia has probably already happened. You should seek out treatment rapidly to avoid your hearing getting substantially worse quickly.

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

Is there a cure for muffled hearing?

Not all forms of muffled hearing have a cure. The root cause of your muffled hearing will establish the treatment method. We might use some special tools to help clear out your ear canal if, for example, 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 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 there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. However, symptoms can be controlled. There may be numerous approaches to this treatment including a set of hearing aids.

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

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.

However, in most instances, routine hearing tests can help you steer clear of many of the causes of muffled hearing and detect any permanent hearing loss early. 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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