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 individuals, it’s a short-term situation. In other instances, muffled hearing can be a precursor of more substantial hearing-related problems. That’s because, in general, hearing loss is a gradually developing 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 is not always an indication of long-term hearing loss. Indeed, millions of people experience muffled hearing every year.

You might be wondering: when should I be concerned about muffled hearing? The answer depends on a number of factors. Finding the right treatment for your muffled hearing depends on understanding the underlying cause. Additional damage can be prevented and your hearing can get back to normal with some quick solutions. Contacting us for a consultation can help you begin this process, often resulting in successful treatments, so you can continue enjoying the sounds of your day-to-day life.

Muffled Hearing – what exactly is it?

When sound can’t travel through your outer, middle, and inner ear in a normal way, your hearing can sound muffled. A very noticeable decrease in sound fidelity is the result. In the majority of cases, people with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but everything sounds quieter or jumbled. Discerning speech and language can be particularly difficult.

In many cases, and depending on the underlying cause, muffled hearing can be accompanied by 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. Muffled hearing is not always associated with this feeling, however.

What causes muffled hearing?

Muffled hearing can be caused by all kinds of issues. Determining the root cause of your muffled hearing can be important in establishing an effective treatment plan. Here are some of the most prevalent causes:

  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from persistent hearing and balance issues. Dizziness, balance problems, tinnitus, and muffled ears will manifest over time because of this disease. The symptoms of Menier’s disease can be managed but not cured.
  • Infection: Sometimes, issues like infections (including sinus infections or ear infections) can cause inflammation in the ear canal (this is especially true with ear infections). This will reduce your ability to hear by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Muffled hearing symptoms brought on by infections will usually go away once the underlying 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.
  • Earwax buildup: Earwax is usually a helpful thing. The health of your ear canal relies on the production of earwax. However, excessive earwax can eventually cause muffled hearing (or even hearing loss). Try a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear to loosen things up. Do not utilize a cotton swab to try to dislodge the earwax, as cotton swabs can condense your earwax and make the problem worse. We can help if the problem continues.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss which results from noise damage can sometimes result in muffled hearing. This type of hearing loss is, regrettably, generally permanent. Muffled hearing is often one of the earliest noticeable symptoms; but damage to your stereocilia has likely already occurred by the time you detect the distorted sounds. If you don’t find treatment quickly, your hearing will rapidly get worse.
  • Hearing loss related to age: As you get older, your hearing can decline due to natural causes. Obviously, when you’re 80 all of your senses will be less acute than when you were 18. This normal decline in your ability to hear can cause muffled hearing over time.

The precise symptoms of muffled hearing will vary depending on the underlying cause.

Can muffled hearing be cured?

Some forms of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The underlying cause of your muffled hearing will establish the treatment strategy. For example, if excessive earwax buildup is the main cause, we may use specific tools to help you clear out your ear canal. Antibiotics are usually prescribed if your muffled hearing is being caused by an infection.

In terms of sensorineural hearing loss, the focus changes to symptom management rather than a total cure. That’s because there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. But it is possible to control symptoms. This may take a number of forms, but the most prevalent is using a set of hearing aids in order to bring clarity to what you hear.

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

Avoiding muffled hearing

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

However, in most instances, regular hearing tests can help you avoid many of the causes of muffled hearing and detect any permanent hearing loss early. Contact us for an appointment right away.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today