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Woman in pain for tinnitus, sound and noise problem. Healthcare, pressure and hearing loss with girl suffering with muffled hearing.

Muffled hearing can happen for a wide variety of reasons. In the majority of instances, this situation is temporary. In other instances, muffled hearing can be a precursor of more substantial hearing-related problems. That’s because, for the most part, hearing loss is a slowly progressing condition. Symptoms appear slowly over a long time period.

Often, 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’re developing long-term hearing loss. Indeed, millions of people experience muffled hearing every year.

You might be wondering: when do I need to be concerned 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. Additional damage can be prevented and your hearing can get back to normal with some prompt 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 travel through your outer, middle, and inner ear in a normal way, your hearing can sound muffled. A rather noticeable reduction in sound fidelity is the outcome. In most cases, those with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but everything sounds quieter or jumbled. This might especially affect your ability to discern and understand voices and spoken language.

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

Causes of muffled hearing

There are lots of possible causes of muffled hearing. In order to formulate the correct course of treatment, it’s essential to establish the root cause. Here are several of the most common causes:

  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from chronic hearing and balance problems. Dizziness, balance problems, tinnitus, and muffled ears will manifest over time because of this disease. The symptoms of Menier’s disease can be treated but not cured.
  • Travel: The changing altitude associated with air travel can frequently cause a feeling of fullness in the ear, followed closely by muffled hearing. Your hearing will go back to normal rather quickly once your physical conditions return to normal.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss caused by noise-related damage can sometimes bring about muffled hearing. Sadly, this kind of hearing loss is usually irreversible. One of the very first noticeable symptoms is muffled hearing; 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.
  • Earwax buildup: Earwax is usually a helpful thing. The health of your ear canal depends on the generation of earwax. But muffled hearing (and in some cases even hearing loss) can be the result of too much earwax. Try a few 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 issue persists.
  • Infection: In some cases, issues such as infections (such as sinus infections or ear infections) can result in inflammation in the ear canal (this is especially true with ear infections). This will diminish your hearing ability by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Once the underlying infection goes away, any inflammation it caused should also clear.
  • Age-associated hearing loss: Most people will experience decreasing hearing as they get older. After all, there are few senses as sharp when you are 80 as when you are 18. This normal diminishing in your ability to hear can cause muffled hearing over time.

The exact symptoms of muffled hearing will differ depending on the underlying cause.

Can muffled hearing be cured?

Some types of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The treatment for your muffled hearing will change depending on the underlying cause. We might use some specialized tools to help clear out your ear canal if, for example, earwax accumulation is at the root of your muffled hearing. Antibiotics are frequently prescribed if your muffled hearing is being caused by an infection.

In terms of sensorineural hearing loss, the focus changes to symptom management as opposed to a complete cure. That’s because sensorineural hearing loss can not be reversed. However, symptoms can be managed. This may take several forms, but the most prevalent is using a set of hearing aids so that you can bring clarity to what you hear.

Hearing aids can help you stay connected to loved ones and go about your day-to-day activities without a substantially noticeable effect, especially when this process is started quickly.

How to avoid muffled hearing in the first place

No matter what you do, some kinds of muffled hearing can’t be avoided. For instance, ear infections and sinus infections are hard to reliably avoid.

Getting your hearing tested, however, can help identify any causes of muffled hearing and can help prevent any long-term hearing loss that may be developing. Call us for an appointment right away.

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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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