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Earbuds Make My Ears Itch: How to Solve it?

“Why do earbuds make my ears itch?” It’s a common question with a few different answers. Earbuds are popular because they are small, portable, and convenient. They also offer decent sound quality and can be used with various electronic devices. However, earbuds can also cause problems for some people, including itchiness.

Unlike around-ear headphones and other headphones, earbuds fit snugly inside the ear canal. This design can cause problems for some people, as the earbuds can irritate the sensitive skin inside the ear. Also, earbuds can trap dirt and debris inside the ear, leading to itchiness.

In this article, we’ll explain why earbuds might make your ears itch and offer some solutions to the problem.

Earbuds make your ears itch: 8 common reasons

First, you need to know there isn’t only one answer to this question. Different people can react differently to earbuds, and there are several potential causes of itchiness. You might even have 2 or more of these causes simultaneously. Read them all and check if these points are relevant to your case.

You can solve most problems by taking good care of your earbuds and cleaning them regularly. However, if the itchiness persists, you might need to see a doctor to check for other causes, such as an infection or allergic reaction. Here are the most common reasons:

1. Dirty earbuds

The most common reason earbuds make your ears itch is that they are dirty. When you use earbuds, they can collect sweat, dirt, and other debris. This soil can lead to irritation and itchiness, especially if you don’t clean them regularly. You have seen some nasty photos of people’s earbuds online. Have you ever been offered a pair of waxy earbuds and thought, “No, thanks“? Don’t let this happen to you!

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You can use a soft cloth or cotton swab to clean your earbuds. Gently wipe down the earbuds, careful not to damage the delicate speaker mesh. You can also use a toothpick to remove any buildup from the crevices of the earbuds. Ensure you also clean the outer surface of the earbuds that go into your ear.

earbuds make my ears itch - too large

2. Earbuds are too large for your ears

Another common problem is that your earbuds might be too large for your ears. This size difference can cause discomfort and itchiness as they rub against the inside of your ear. You might also suffer headaches and ear pressure if the earbuds are too tight. It would be best if you didn’t use small tips that either move around a lot or fall out easily.

To solve this problem, you can try using a different size of earbud tip. If you’re using the standard size, try going up or down a size. Unfortunately, not all earbuds have different tip sizes available. Therefore, if the problem persists, you might need to try another brand or a different type of earbud.

3. Dry ears and skin

If you have dry skin or eczema, you might be more prone to itchiness when using earbuds. This problem happens because the earbuds irritate the already sensitive skin. Additionally, if your earbuds don’t fit well, they can trap air inside your ear, leading to dryness and itchiness.

If the problem persists, you might want to change your earbuds or visit a doctor to check for other underlying conditions.

4. Wax buildup

If you don’t clean your ears regularly, earwax can build up inside your ear canal as you constantly push it with your earbuds. This wax can cause irritation, itchiness, and hearing problems. Additionally, if the earwax is hard and dry, it can block the ear canal and cause pain.

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Your earbuds might also sound different when the mesh is covered in earwax. If you notice a change in sound quality, it’s probably time to clean your earbuds (and ears)!

5. Allergy to earbuds material

If you have an allergy to the material of your earbuds, they can cause itchiness and irritation. This itch happens due to a reaction to the plastic or metal in the earbuds. The allergens can also be found in the tips, so ensure you use hypoallergenic tips if you’re susceptible to allergies.

earbuds make my ears itch - allergy

If you think you might be allergic to your earbuds, try switching to a different brand. You can also try using different types of earbuds, such as the AirPods that don’t come with rubber tips.

6. Placing your earbuds too deep in your ear canal

If your earbuds are too deep in your ear canal, they can cause irritation and itchiness. You could also suffer headaches and dizziness from the pressure. Additionally, placing your earbuds too deep in your ear can worsen the symptoms if you have a cold or sinus infection.

To avoid this problem, gently insert the earbuds, and don’t push them too far into your ear canal. If using rubber tips, ensure they fit snugly but not too tightly. You should also take a break from using earbuds if you have a cold or sinus infection. And don’t forget to clean and dry your ears after a shower before using earbuds!

7. Prolonged use of earbuds

Anything in excess can be harmful, and that includes earbuds. If you use them for too long, you can suffer from fatigue, headaches, and even hearing loss. Additionally, if you’re using earbuds in a noisy environment, you might not be able to hear things as well as you usually would.

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Take breaks from using your earbuds and rest your ears to avoid these problems. You should also try to use them in quieter environments and lower the volume if you can’t hear what’s happening around you. If you’ve used your earbuds for 60 minutes or more, take a 15-minute break.

earbuds make my ears itch - prolonged use

8. Ear infection

Using earbuds can worsen the symptoms if you suffer from an ear infection. The earbuds can irritate the inflamed and sensitive skin inside your ear canal. Overall, you probably want to avoid listening to loud music or using headphones until your ear recovers. Ask the doctor when it’s okay to use them again.

“Earbuds make my ears itch”: The bottom line

There you have it. Now that you know why earbuds make your ears itch, you can take steps to prevent or solve the problem. Remember to clean your earbuds and ears regularly, use the correct size earbuds, and take breaks from using them. If the problem persists, consult a doctor.

You only have one pair of ears; hearing loss is no joke. Take care of your ears, clean them regularly, don’t use earbuds for prolonged periods, and take breaks occasionally. Your ears will thank you!

Which of the reasons above do you think is the cause of your itchy ears? Let us know in the comments below!