Causes of Muffled Hearing and Some Remedies

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 most people, it’s a short-term experience. In other cases, muffled hearing can be a harbinger of more significant hearing-related issues. In part, that’s because, outside of sudden hearing loss, hearing loss is usually not a condition that develops suddenly. Symptoms show up gradually 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. Muffled hearing, however, isn’t always an indication that you are developing long-term hearing loss. Indeed, millions of individuals experience muffled hearing every year.

Maybe you’re wondering if you should be concerned about your muffled hearing. Generally, the answer tends to vary. Recognizing the root cause of your muffled hearing is essential to finding the correct treatment strategy. Added damage can be avoided and your hearing can get back to normal with some quick solutions. Contacting us for a consultation can help you begin this process, typically resulting in successful treatments, so you can keep enjoying the sounds of your day-to-day life.

What is muffled hearing?

Muffled hearing happens when sound is unable to travel through your outer, middle, and inner ear in the way that it usually does. This results in a noticeable drop in sound quality. Hearing won’t be completely gone with muffled hearing but things will sound garbled and quieter. This may especially affect your ability to discern and understand voices and spoken language.

Your ears will frequently also feel clogged up when your hearing is muffled. Many people have experienced this feeling for a short time, for example, when they have a cold or when they are taking a flight. This plugged feeling, however, doesn’t always come along with muffled hearing.

What causes muffled hearing?

There are lots of potential causes of muffled hearing. In order to establish the appropriate course of treatment, it’s essential to establish the root cause. Some of the most common causes of muffled hearing include the following:

  • 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.
  • Meniere’s Disease: Meniere’s Disease is a long-term balance and hearing issue. Dizziness, balance problems, tinnitus, and muffled ears will develop over time because of this disease. There is no cure for Meniere’s Disease, but symptoms can be managed.
  • Hearing loss related to age: As you age, your hearing can diminish as a result of natural causes. After all, there are few senses as sharp when you are 80 as when you are 18. This natural decline in your hearing ability can cause muffled hearing over time.
  • Earwax buildup: Earwax is generally a helpful thing. The health of your ear canal depends on the production of earwax. But muffled hearing (and in some instances even hearing loss) can be the consequence of too much earwax. Try a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear to loosen the wax up. Never attempt to free stuck earwax by using a cotton swab which will only pack the wax further up into the ear canal. If the problem lingers, come in and see us.
  • Infection: Inflammation of the ear canal will frequently accompany issues such as ear infections or sinus infections. This inflammation can cause your ear canal to swell shut, effectively decreasing your ability to hear. Muffled hearing symptoms brought on by infections will normally clear up after the root illness has been treated.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss caused by noise-related damage can sometimes result in muffled hearing. This kind of hearing loss is, unfortunately, normally permanent. Muffled hearing is often one of the very first noticeable symptoms; but damage to your stereocilia has usually already occurred by the time you detect the distorted sounds. You should seek out treatment promptly to avoid your hearing growing considerably worse quickly.

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

Is there a cure for muffled hearing?

Not all kinds of muffled hearing can be cured. The base cause of your muffled hearing will determine the treatment method. For instance, if excessive earwax buildup is the main cause, we may use specific tools to help you clean out your ear canal. 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 generally the approach when you’re dealing with sensorineural hearing loss as opposed to a cure. That’s because sensorineural hearing loss can not be cured. But it is possible to control symptoms. There might be several strategies to this treatment including a set of hearing aids.

Hearing aids can help you remain connected to loved ones and go about your daily activities without a substantially noticeable effect, particularly when this process is initiated quickly.

Avoiding muffled hearing

Some types of muffled hearing are difficult to avoid, no matter what. Infections, for example, can’t always be avoided.

However, in most cases, regular 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.

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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