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Problems with the hearing might seriously affect the self-esteem of the person experiencing this condition, even if it just one ear that he/she is having problems with. Muffled hearing is actually the inability to hear the proper sounds, as they are. The person hears some frequencies and some not, and most patients also experience some clogged feeling in the ear.

Do not treat ear problems on your own, because you might worsen the situation. This condition doesn’t have to be associated with the deafening. Depending on the cause of the problem, doctors will rate the severity of the condition.


Most commonly, symptoms of the muffled hearing are caused by earwax buildup, glue or swimmer’s ears, and sometimes it can happen because of the ear infection, tumor in the ear canal or because of the rupture in the eardrum.

Earwax buildup

This is one of the least disturbing causes of muffled hearing and many people having problems with the earwax don’t hear properly. The accumulation of earwax in the ear canal obstructs the hearing of the sounds. Make sure to clean your ears regularly, in order to avoid this problem. If it emerges, consult your doctor and if he/she agrees - use some earwax removal kit. Cotton swabs are not the best option to get rid of the excess earwax, because you could push it even further and make it harder to be removed. In some cases, these cotton swabs might even damage the eardrum.

Swimmer’s Ear

Temporary hearing loss in one ear might be caused by some infection and swelling of the ear canal. Mild infections get cleared on their own for a day or two and some more severe infections need to be addressed by a doctor and treated with antibiotics.

Glue Ear

Glue ear or otitis media is the infection of the middle ear, that causes accumulation of some fluids in the ear canal that obstruct normal sounds. This infection doesn’t have to be treated, but it could take some time until you can hear normally again.

Ear Infection

Common cold might also get transferred into the ear, causing muffled hearing. The therapy is necessary only in serious cases.


Cancerous or non-cancerous tumor in the ear canal might also affect your hearing. It could be abnormal bone or connective tissue growth in the canal, or some tumor on the auditory nerve, but in all cases it causes the partial loss of hearing. Radiation and surgical procedures are the only ways to help these patients.

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