Hearing Associates of Libertyville, IL

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

Muffled hearing can present for a large number of reasons. In the majority of cases, this situation is short-term. In other cases, muffled hearing can be a precursor of more substantial hearing-related issues. Partly, that’s because, aside from sudden hearing loss, hearing loss is typically not a condition that progresses suddenly. Symptoms show up gradually over a long period of time.

One of the first symptoms of gradually progressing long-term hearing loss is the sense that your hearing is muffled. Muffled hearing, however, isn’t necessarily an indication that you’re developing permanent hearing loss. Indeed, millions of individuals experience muffled hearing each year.

You might be wondering: when do I need to be worried about muffled hearing? Generally, the answer varies. Finding the right treatment for your muffled hearing depends on understanding the underlying cause. Timely solutions can in some cases help get your hearing back to normal, or, at least minimize possible harm. 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.

What is muffled hearing?

Muffled hearing takes place when sound is not able to travel through your outer, middle, and inner ear in the way that it usually does. A rather noticeable decrease in sound quality is the outcome. In the majority of instances, those with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but everything sounds quieter or distorted. Discerning speech and language can be especially challenging.

In many cases, and depending on the root cause, muffled hearing can be accompanied by a sense of fullness or stuffiness in your ears. Many people have experienced this feeling for a short time, for example, when they have a cold or are flying. This clogged feeling, however, doesn’t always come along with muffled hearing.

What causes muffled hearing?

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

  • Age-related hearing loss: Most individuals will experience diminishing hearing as they age. After all, there are few senses as sharp when you are 80 as they were when you are 18. Over time, muffled hearing can be the outcome of this natural decline of your hearing.
  • Travel: Altitude changes, such as when you’re on a plane, can lead to a feeling of muffled ears. In most instances, this feeling will go away rapidly and your hearing will go back to normal.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: In some cases, muffled hearing can be the outcome of noise-related hearing loss. Sadly, this kind of hearing loss is usually permanent. Muffled hearing is frequently one of the first detectable symptoms; but damage to your stereocilia has likely already occurred by the time you notice the distorted sounds. You should seek out treatment rapidly to avoid your hearing growing significantly worse quickly.
  • Earwax buildup: Usually, earwax is a good thing. The health of your ear canal depends on the production 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 the wax up. Never try to dislodge stuck earwax by using a cotton swab which will only push the wax further up into the ear canal. We can help if the problem continues.
  • Meniere’s Disease: Meniere’s Disease is a long-term balance and hearing problem. Dizziness, balance issues, 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: Swelling of the ear canal will frequently accompany problems like ear infections or sinus infections. This will reduce your ability to hear by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Muffled hearing symptoms caused by infections will normally clear up once the root illness has been treated.

The exact symptoms of muffled hearing will vary depending on the root cause.

Can muffled hearing be cured?

Some forms of muffled hearing can’t be cured. The treatment for your muffled hearing will differ depending on the underlying cause. We may use some special tools to help clean out your ear canal if, for instance, earwax accumulation is at the root of your muffled hearing. Muffled hearing caused by an ear infection will likely clear up once the infection has been managed, so antibiotics are frequently prescribed.

Symptom management is usually the strategy when you’re dealing with sensorineural hearing loss as opposed to a cure. That’s because sensorineural hearing loss can not be cured. But it is possible to control symptoms. There may be numerous approaches to this treatment including a pair of hearing aids.

Hearing aids can help you remain connected to loved ones and go about your day-to-day activities without a substantially noticeable effect, particularly when this process is initiated promptly.

Avoiding muffled hearing

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

Having your hearing tested, however, can help detect any causes of muffled hearing and can help prevent any long-term hearing loss that may 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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today