People often ignore the occasional bouts of muffled hearing that they experience after a particularly loud sporting event or musical concert. However, muffled hearing is often a symptom of underlying damage to hearing and should never be ignored.
Even though some of the reasons for muffled hearing can be simple problems such as excessive buildup of earwax or dirt. Other times an ear infection or other viral or bacterial infection may cause muffled hearing which can be treated by a medical professional.
Other simple reasons for muffled hearing are a biologically predisposed reduced functioning of your Eustachian tube. This is referred to as Eustachian Tube Dysfunction and may cause the sensation of plugged ears. This condition often clears up on its own and requires no medical intervention. Another reason that can be remedied is the use of certain medications that cause muffled hearing as a side effect. If this is the case, simply ask your doctor to change your medication. In some cases though, the reasons for muffled hearing are far more insidious in nature.
If you find that you are having frequent bouts of muffled hearing or are constantly feeling as though everyone around you is mumbling, you may have hearing loss. In order to know for sure, it is best to take a trip to your nearest hearing care professional so that they can administer a hearing exam in order to diagnose and treat any form of hearing loss that you may have.
Hearing loss is not a simple matter of being unable to hear. Often times, people with hearing loss are able to hear most sounds except sounds in certain frequencies such as higher pitched sounds or low pitched sounds. Other times people may have trouble hearing with only one ear while their other ear seems to be working just fine. This is known as asymmetric loss of hearing. This type of hearing loss can make it difficult for you to locate the source of sounds and can thus confuse your brain at times.
Until and unless you are able to pinpoint the exact nature and extent of your hearing loss, treatment options will be unclear. Muffled hearing is usually an early warning of hearing damage so if you have continued muffled hearing over extended periods of time, it is best not to wait and seek the help of an audiologist.
Once you get your hearing tested, you will have plenty of treatment options available for any type of hearing damage that you might have. In case your muffled hearing is temporary, you can breathe a sigh of relief and go on with your life. Either way, it is best to know for sure because uncertainty is often worse than the actual problem, so do not delay seeking help for your muffled hearing.
Dr. Hubik received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Born and raised in this area, Dr. Hubik grew up in Anton, Texas and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. Dr. Hubik opened Cornerstone Audiology in March of 2007. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of this community.