Florida Hearing Matters - Fort Lauderdale, FL

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 instances, this situation is temporary. But muffled hearing can also be an indication that a more serious hearing problem is occurring. That’s because, for the most part, hearing loss is a slowly developing condition. Symptoms develop gradually and over time.

Typically, one of the first detectable symptoms is a sense that sounds feel muffled, distorted, or quieter. Muffled hearing, however, isn’t necessarily a sign that you’re developing permanent hearing loss. Indeed, millions of individuals experience muffled hearing each year.

Perhaps you’re wondering if you should be concerned about your muffled hearing. The answer depends on a number of factors. Recognizing the root cause of your muffled hearing is critical to finding the right treatment plan. Timely solutions can in some cases help get your hearing back to normal, or, at least reduce possible harm. Contacting us for a consultation can help you begin this process, typically leading to successful treatments, so you can continue enjoying the sounds of your everyday life.

Muffled Hearing – what exactly is it?

Muffled hearing takes place when sound is not able to travel through your outer, middle, and inner ear in the way that it normally does. A very noticeable decrease in sound quality is the result. In most instances, individuals with muffled hearing can still hear some or even most things, but things sound quieter or jumbled. Hearing speech and language can be particularly challenging.

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

What causes muffled hearing?

There are a lot of potential causes of muffled hearing. In order to develop the appropriate course of treatment, it’s important to establish the root cause. Some of the most prevalent causes of muffled hearing include the following:

  • Travel: The changing air pressure associated with air travel can frequently cause a plugged feeling in the ear, followed closely by muffled hearing. In most instances, this feeling will pass quickly and your hearing will go back to normal.
  • Earwax buildup: Usually, earwax is a good thing. The health of your ear canal relies on the production of earwax. But muffled hearing (and in some circumstances even hearing loss) can be the consequence of excess earwax. Try a couple of drops of hydrogen peroxide in your ear to loosen things up. Never try to dislodge stuck earwax with a cotton swab which will only pack the wax further up into the ear canal. If the problem continues, come in and see us.
  • Meniere’s Disease: When you have Menier’s Disease, you suffer from chronic hearing and balance problems. Over time, this disease can trigger tinnitus, hearing loss (frequently starting with muffled hearing), and dizziness or loss of balance. There is no cure for Meniere’s Disease, but symptoms can be managed.
  • Infection: Sometimes, issues like infections (including sinus infections or ear infections) can result in swelling in the ear canal (this is particularly true with ear infections). This will decrease your hearing ability by causing the ear canal to swell shut. Once the base infection clears, any inflammation it caused should also clear.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Sometimes, muffled hearing can be the result of noise-related hearing loss. Sadly, this form of hearing loss is normally irreversible. One of the earliest recognizable symptoms is muffled hearing; but damage to your stereocilia has usually already happened by the time you notice the distorted sounds. You should find treatment rapidly to avoid your hearing getting significantly worse quickly.
  • Age-related hearing loss: As you get older, your hearing can diminish due to natural causes. Obviously, when you’re 80 all of your senses will be less acute than when you were 18. This natural decline in your ability to hear can cause muffled hearing over time.

Depending on the root cause, the precise symptoms of muffled hearing will vary.

Is there a cure for muffled hearing?

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

Symptom management is usually the strategy when you have 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 several approaches to this treatment including a set of hearing aids.

With hearing aids, you can keep enjoying your daily activities without hearing loss impacting your quality of life.

Avoiding muffled hearing

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