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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 most cases, this situation is temporary. In other instances, muffled hearing can be a harbinger of more substantial hearing-related problems. In part, that’s because, outside of sudden hearing loss, hearing loss is typically not a condition that develops suddenly. Symptoms build slowly and over time.

Typically, one of the first noticeable symptoms is a sense that sounds feel muffled, distorted, or quieter. However, it’s essential to point out that muffled hearing in and of itself is not always a sign of permanent hearing loss. Every year millions of people experience muffled hearing.

You may be wondering: when should I be worried about muffled hearing? The answer depends on a number of factors. Recognizing the root cause of your muffled hearing is crucial to finding the best treatment plan. 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 start this process, typically 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 move through your outer, middle, and inner ear in a normal way, your hearing can sound muffled. A rather noticeable decline in sound fidelity is the result. In the majority of instances, those with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but everything sounds quieter or distorted. This may particularly affect your ability to discern and understand voices and spoken language.

In many instances, and depending on the underlying cause, muffled hearing can be combined with a sense of fullness or stuffiness in your ears. Lots of individuals have experienced this feeling for a short time, for example, when they have a cold or are flying. Muffled hearing isn’t always accompanied by this feeling, however.

Causes of muffled hearing

Muffled hearing can be caused by a wide variety of problems. In order to formulate the appropriate course of treatment, it’s essential to figure out the root cause. Here are a few of the most prevalent causes:

  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss which results from noise damage can sometimes bring about muffled hearing. This type of hearing loss is, sadly, normally irreversible. Muffled hearing is frequently one of the earliest noticeable symptoms; but damage to your stereocilia has usually already occurred by the time you notice the distorted sounds. If you don’t seek out treatment quickly, your hearing will rapidly get worse.
  • Earwax buildup: Normally, earwax is a good thing. The health of your ear canal depends on the generation of earwax. But muffled hearing (and in some circumstances even hearing loss) can be the result of excess earwax. Try a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear to loosen the wax up. Do not utilize a cotton swab to attempt to dislodge the earwax, as cotton swabs can condense your earwax and make the problem worse. If the issue lingers, come in and see us.
  • Infection: Swelling of the ear canal will often come with problems like ear infections or sinus infections. This swelling can cause your ear canal to swell shut, effectively diminishing your ability to hear. Once the root infection clears, any swelling it caused should also clear.
  • Travel: Altitude changes, like when you’re on a plane, can lead to a feeling of muffled ears. In most instances, this feeling will pass rapidly and your normal hearing will be restored.
  • Age-associated hearing loss: Most individuals will experience diminishing hearing as they get older. Obviously, when you’re 80 all of your senses will be less acute than when you were 18. Over time, muffled hearing can be the result of this normal decline of your ability to hear.
  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from persistent hearing and balance problems. Over time, this disease can cause tinnitus, hearing loss (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 root cause, the precise symptoms of muffled hearing will vary.

Can muffled hearing be cured?

Some forms of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The underlying cause of your muffled hearing will determine the treatment method. For instance, if excess earwax buildup is the primary cause, we might 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.

When it comes to sensorineural hearing loss, the focus changes to symptom management instead of a total cure. That’s because sensorineural hearing loss can not be cured. But it is possible to manage symptoms. There may be numerous approaches to this treatment including a set of hearing aids.

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

No matter what you do, certain kinds of muffled hearing can’t be avoided. Infections, for instance, can’t always be avoided.

Getting your hearing examined, however, can help detect any causes of muffled hearing and can help avoid any long-term hearing loss that may be developing. These examinations can help you stay on top of your hearing health and get treatment promptly.

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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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