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 the majority of individuals, it’s a short-term experience. But muffled hearing can also be an indication that a more severe hearing issue is occurring. That’s because, for the most part, hearing loss is a slowly progressing condition. Symptoms show up gradually over a long time period.

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

You might be wondering: when do I need to be worried about muffled hearing? Generally, the answer tends to vary. Understanding the root cause of your muffled hearing is essential to finding the right treatment strategy. Timely solutions can in some cases help get your hearing back to normal, or, at least reduce possible harm. You will be able to get back to enjoying the sounds of your life after you get us to help you with some successful treatments.

Muffled Hearing – what exactly is it?

Muffled hearing happens when sound is not able to move through your outer, middle, and inner ear in the way that it usually does. A rather noticeable decline in sound quality is the result. In the majority of cases, individuals with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but things sound quieter or distorted. Discerning speech and language can be particularly difficult.

Your ears will frequently also feel clogged up when your hearing is muffled. Sometimes, when you’re on a plane or suffering from a cold you might experience this feeling. This clogged feeling, however, doesn’t always come along with muffled hearing.

What causes muffled hearing?

Muffled hearing can be caused by all kinds of problems. Determining the root cause of your muffled hearing can be essential in establishing a successful treatment plan. Some of the most common causes of muffled hearing include the following:

  • Infection: Sometimes, issues like infections (including sinus infections or ear infections) can cause inflammation in the ear canal (this is particularly true with ear infections). This will reduce your hearing ability by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Muffled hearing symptoms due to infections will typically go away once the root illness has been treated.
  • 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 go away quickly and your hearing will go back to normal.
  • Age-related hearing loss: Most people will experience diminishing hearing as they age. 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 decline of your ability to hear.
  • Earwax buildup: Earwax is usually a helpful thing. The health of your ear canal depends on the production of earwax. However, excessive earwax can ultimately cause muffled hearing (or even hearing loss). This earwax can usually be loosened up by utilizing 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. If the issue persists, come in and talk to us.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Sometimes, muffled hearing can be the outcome of noise-related hearing loss. This kind of hearing loss is, unfortunately, normally irreversible. One of the earliest recognizable symptoms is muffled hearing; but damage to your stereocilia has likely already happened by the time you notice the distorted sounds. You should seek out treatment rapidly to avoid your hearing growing considerably worse quickly.
  • Meniere’s Disease: Meniere’s Disease is a chronic balance and hearing problem. Over time, this disease can cause tinnitus, loss of hearing (frequently beginning with muffled hearing), and dizziness or loss of balance. There’s no cure for Meniere’s Disease, but symptoms can be treated.

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

Can muffled hearing be cured?

Some forms of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The base cause of your muffled hearing will establish the treatment method. We may use some specialized tools to help clean out your ear canal if, for example, earwax accumulation is at the root of your muffled hearing. Antibiotics are usually prescribed if your muffled hearing is being caused by an infection.

Symptom management is usually the approach when you’re dealing with sensorineural hearing loss as opposed to a cure. That’s because there’s no cure for sensorineural hearing loss. However, symptoms can be managed. This might take several forms, but the most common is the use of a set of hearing aids in order to bring clarity to what you hear.

With hearing aids, you can continue to enjoy your daily activities without hearing loss effecting your quality of life.

How to avoid muffled hearing in the first place

Some forms of muffled hearing are hard to avoid, no matter what. For instance, ear infections and sinus infections are difficult to easily avoid.

Having your hearing examined, however, can help identify any causes of muffled hearing and can help prevent any long-term hearing loss that might be developing. These checkups can help you stay on top of your hearing health and get treatment promptly.

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.

Call or text for a no-obligation evaluation.

Schedule Now

Call us today.

Schedule Now