Why Do I Have Muffled Hearing in One Ear?

Why Do I Have Muffled Hearing in One Ear?

by | Mar 10, 2023 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

There are various manifestations and causes of hearing loss. At Audiology Associates, we have devoted our entire professional lives to providing comprehensive solutions for any hearing-related problem that may arise.

One such concern is muffled hearing, which is a common issue that can be both bothersome and have adverse effects on one’s health. If left untreated, it may potentially lead to further health complications, which is why it’s essential to seek appropriate treatment.

Muffled hearing goes by a few different names; single-sided hearing loss and unilateral hearing loss are the two most popular alternative names for this condition, even though it can happen in both ears simultaneously. Whatever you call it, it must be treated by professionals as early as possible.

Our hearing is the foundation of communication and plays a huge role in maintaining our balance and cognitive skills. While many people may think, “What’s the big deal? My other ear works perfectly,” this is a recipe for disaster.

Before we can address muffled hearing in one or both ears, it’s crucial to comprehend its nature and recognize the symptoms in oneself or others. In most instances, we can successfully restore hearing, but in rare cases, muffled hearing may be irreversible.

What Is “Muffled Ear”?

Muffled hearing in one or both ears occurs when sound waves encounter difficulty in reaching the inner ear. Consequently, there is an inadequate pathway for sound to travel to the brain for processing, resulting in ineffective hearing.

It’s worth noting that the term “muffled ear” has nothing to do with the physical appearance of the ear, but rather refers to how sounds are perceived. This subdued version of auditory input can worsen swiftly if left unaddressed.

What Causes Muffled Ears?

The causes of muffled hearing are broad and can affect people of all ages. Sometimes babies are born with muffled hearing due to premature birth or malformations of the ear canal.

Here are the most common causes of muffled hearing:

  • Loud Noises – Those who work in areas with prolonged exposure to loud noises, such as factories and repair facilities, are at high risk of developing muffled ears. If your routine has been the same for years, this can happen in only one ear. For example, a truck driver with the window down may have worsened hearing in their left ear rather than their right ear.
  • Trauma – Physical trauma is a leading cause of unilateral hearing loss, since it can be localized to just one side of your head. If this happens, be sure to visit us immediately to prevent any further internal damage that may develop.
  • Medications – Be sure to inform us of any meds you are taking, as they may be contributing to your muffled ear. Antibiotics have the potential to damage the inner ear on both sides and leave you with rapidly progressing hearing loss.

How to Treat Muffled Ears

Treatment most commonly comes in two forms: hearing aids or a surgical procedure.

Prior to considering surgical options, we prioritize finding the optimal pair of hearing aids for you. Over the past two decades, hearing aids have made significant advancements, and in the majority of cases, they are effective in amplifying hearing for users.

If surgery is deemed necessary, it typically involves the placement of a bone-anchored auditory implant into the inner ear. This device operates by transmitting sound vibrations through the bone and into the brain, thereby restoring normal hearing function.

Take Precautionary Measures

Our greatest weapon against muffled ears and any kind of hearing loss is prevention. Take care of your ears, and they will take care of you.

Always try to avoid environments with loud noises. If you must be around loud noises, then be sure to pack protection in the form of foam earplugs or industrial ear coverings.

If we are notified of muffled ears early on, we have more options to treat them. Be sure to attend regular checkups to ensure your hearing stays on track to provide you with problem-free hearing well into the future.

How to Take Action against Muffled Ears

Don’t let muffled hearing hold you back any longer! Our team of experienced professionals is standing by, ready to assist you in treating this issue. Take action now by scheduling a comprehensive hearing assessment, so we can accurately diagnose the problem and develop an effective treatment plan.

Remember, we are here to help, but we can only do so if we are made aware of the issue. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have about your hearing or that of your loved ones. Contact us today, or request a callback, and take the first step towards better hearing!

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Dr. Melissa Segev Au.D, F.A.A.A.

Dr. Segev, co-owner of Audiology Associates, proudly represents the values of excellent patient care upon which her practice was established in 1977. She understands that to properly treat the patient, excellent state-of-the-art medical testing is required along with acute listening and understanding of the patient’s perceptions of how they are feeling and what their needs might be.

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