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 cases, this situation is short-term. In other cases, muffled hearing can be a harbinger of more significant hearing-related issues. Partly, that’s because, aside from sudden hearing loss, hearing loss is usually not a condition that progresses suddenly. Symptoms show up slowly over a long period of time.

Typically, one of the first detectable symptoms is a sense that sounds feel muffled, distorted, or quieter. Muffled hearing, however, isn’t necessarily a sign that you are developing long-term hearing loss. Each year millions of individuals experience muffled hearing.

You may be wondering: when should I be concerned about muffled hearing? Generally, the answer varies. Recognizing the root cause of your muffled hearing is essential to finding the correct treatment strategy. Additional damage can be prevented and your hearing can get back to normal with some quick solutions. You will be able to get 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?

When sound can’t move through your outer, middle, and inner ear in a normal way, your hearing can sound muffled. This leads to a noticeable drop in sound quality. In most instances, individuals with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but everything sounds quieter or distorted. This may particularly impact your ability to discern and understand voices and spoken language.

In many cases, and depending on the underlying cause, muffled hearing can be associated with a sense of fullness or stuffiness in your ears. Sometimes, when you’re taking a flight or have a cold you might experience this feeling. This plugged feeling, however, doesn’t always come with muffled hearing.

What causes muffled hearing?

Muffled hearing can be caused by a wide variety of problems. Figuring out the underlying cause of your muffled hearing can be significant in developing an effective treatment plan. Here are several of the most common causes:

  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Sometimes, muffled hearing can be the outcome of noise-related hearing loss. Regrettably, this form of hearing loss is normally irreversible. Muffled hearing is frequently one of the first detectable symptoms; but by the time you notice the distorted sounds, damage to your stereocilia has probably already occurred. You should seek out treatment rapidly to avoid your hearing growing considerably worse quickly.
  • Earwax buildup: Earwax is usually a helpful thing. The health of your ear canal depends on the generation of earwax. However, excessive earwax can eventually cause muffled hearing (or even hearing loss). This earwax can typically be loosened up by using a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Do not make use of a cotton swab to try to dislodge the earwax, as cotton swabs can compact your earwax and make the problem worse. We can help if the issue persists.
  • Age-associated hearing loss: Most individuals will experience decreasing hearing as they get older. After all, there are few senses as acute when you are 80 as when you are 18. This normal decline in your hearing ability can cause muffled hearing over time.
  • Infection: Inflammation of the ear canal will frequently accompany problems like ear infections or sinus infections. This inflammation can cause your ear canal to swell shut, effectively reducing your ability to hear. Muffled hearing symptoms caused by infections will usually clear up once the underlying illness has been dealt with.
  • Travel: The changing altitude related to air travel can frequently cause a plugged feeling in the ear, accompanied by muffled hearing. In most cases, this feeling will pass quickly and your hearing will go back to normal.
  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from chronic hearing and balance issues. Over time, this disease can cause tinnitus, loss of hearing (frequently starting with muffled hearing), and dizziness or loss of balance. The symptoms of Menier’s disease can be treated but not cured.

Depending on the underlying cause, the precise symptoms of muffled hearing will differ.

Can muffled hearing be cured?

Some types of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The root cause of your muffled hearing will determine the treatment method. For example, if excess earwax buildup is the main cause, we may use specific tools to help you clear out your ear canal. Muffled hearing caused by an ear infection will usually clear up once the infection has been managed, so antibiotics are usually prescribed.

Symptom management is generally the strategy when you have sensorineural hearing loss as opposed to a cure. That’s because there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it is possible to control symptoms. This might take several forms, but the most common is using a set of hearing aids so that you can bring clarity to what you hear.

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

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, routine hearing tests can help you steer clear of 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.

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