How To Reduce Ear Pain From Headphones? [6 Actionable Tips]

Let’s face it. Nowadays, not a day goes by when we aren’t wearing headphones one way or the other. And extreme ear pain from wearing headphones excessively isn’t exactly a rare occurrence either. So, how to reduce ear pain from headphones and get some lasting relief?

To reduce ear pain arising from wearing headphones, you need to first find the root causes behind the pain. Maybe you’re using them way too much or maybe they aren’t the right fit – it’s an endless saga of reasons. And only by finding out the right cause can you achieve some much-needed relief from pain.

Needless to say, that’s not all that goes into the overall equation. After determining the exact reason, you need to find proper ways to tackle it as well. Long-lasting cautionary measures work the best in such scenarios.

Let’s have a look at the related factors then, shall we?

How To Reduce Ear Pain From Headphones?

How To Reduce Ear Pain From Headphones

Depending on the extent of injuries, you can adopt several home remedies for ear pain caused by headphones. There are medical options as well that can help you out if the pain is too much.

Here are a few proven ways you can try out to reduce such ear pains like these:

1. Ensuring Breathability

Well, people indeed use over-the-ear headphones to, well, cover the exit so you can hear the sounds better. But even then, your ears need enough room to breathe properly.

Just like your regular skin. Remember how if you put too much makeup on your face, you get pimples here and there? The concept is pretty much similar just with different output. The point is – appropriate space to preserve natural ambiance is super important.

That’s why, just like you wipe off the makeup after a few hours, you take off the earphones too. You don’t keep it on your ears for hours on end and definitely not for days. Unless it’s related to specific medical reasons, of course.

But generally, try to not put the on-ear headphones on for more than an hour or a half or so. Even if you have to work, take them off once in a while, walk around and get some fresh air. Once everything starts to feel normal and calm, you can put the headphones back in again.

2. Reduce The Inner Pressure

This is another side-effect of the breathability issue with headphones. When they are tightly pressed against the ears, the inner pressure continues to go up over time. Now, it’s obviously not as noticeable, but it does have the potential to do long-term damage.

To understand it better, you can also think of it working overtime, but for your ears. After all, they too, are on overpower mode to give you an enhanced performance than usual. And that can build up the extra pressure over time, and it increases tenfold if the placement isn’t right.

And that’s because headphones usually come with sufficient customization to relieve such pressure build-up. So, if it still feels queasy in there, chances are that the headphones aren’t adjusted accordingly. Moving them around and placing them properly can resolve such issues.

3. Take A Long Break

Breaks are highly important while using headphones for a prolonged period. And for most people, it works like power naps. They keep them off every once in a while to regain their composure. So that when they put them on again, they feel comparatively refreshed.

But this doesn’t seem to work with some people. And quite possibly, due to some deeper health issues. In such cases, it’s best to take a long break instead. Don’t put headphones or any kind of electrical device in your ears for the time being.

Especially if it starts to inner ear hurts like crazy when you have them on. And if it’s possible, immediately consult an ear specialist and get proper medical advice from them.

4. Make Sure It’s The Right Fit

Like clothes, you’ll find headphones in different sizes as well. Frustratingly enough, not many people know that. As a result, they keep using the wrong-sized headphones and then complain why their ears won’t stop aching.

Infographic for How To Reduce Ear Pain From Headphones with 6 Actionable Tips

So, to avoid that fully, always make sure that the headphones don’t have any such fitting issues. If they feel too tight, you probably should go for smaller sets. Ask for the seller’s help to get the perfect fit for you. If needed, you can also get them customized just for you.

5. Stay Within The Limit

You must have read the given lines before – ‘raise sound over recommended level?’ No matter what device you’re using, this little warning is pretty constant. And it’s there to remind you that loud noise over headphones is seldom a good idea.

That’s why all devices have a standard sound level that stands around sixty-seventy percent. If you’re wondering how to reduce ear pain from headphones, this right here is the clue. Don’t go above the recommended level. In fact, stay even lower, if that’s possible.

6. Get Proper Medication

For some, pain from headphones is more of a medical issue. And fortunately, you can find lots of medication for such issues nowadays. The most common one is to use premium-quality ear drops to reduce the overall pain.

Unless there are any underlying medical conditions, these drops will the pain relief in no time at all. You can also find similar pills or oral medication out there for the same needs. However, you have to get a doctor’s note and consultation before taking such medications.

How Can Ear Pain Develop From Using Headphones?

To find out how to reduce pain from headphones, you need to figure out the causes first. Here’s how ear pain develops from using headphones:

Excessive Ear Wax Accumulation

Earbuds or headphones can push the existing ear wax further towards the eardrums. They can then gather up in huge amounts and make it extremely uncomfortable.

Furthermore, it becomes very hard to clean them as well. You also run the risks of accidentally popping your eardrums while attempting to go too far in.


Regularly wearing headphones can cause them to slightly chafe the skin. The constant friction can generate itchiness too.

Again, some people out there can actually have allergic reactions to the headphone materials. For instance – if they are allergic to the protective rubber covering, it could make them extremely uncomfortable. It would substantially amplify the itchiness as well.

Permanent Hearing Loss

Humans already have a pretty low threshold for withstanding loud noises. If you continue to keep on the headphones at top volume, your hearing abilities will decrease over time.

In fact, constant exposure to anything over 85 dB will directly play a role in permanent damage. You might even end up with permanent hearing loss if you fail to take proper steps immediately. The extreme pain is your body telling you that you need help.

Ear Pain Relief/Bleeding: Precautions To Maintain While Using Headphones

Here are a few precautions that you should definitely maintain while using headphones:

  • Always keep the volume under the recommended level. Even if you have to go over the limit for some reason, lower it back down as soon as possible.
  • Don’t keep your headphones on when you’re in a noisy neighborhood. The existing noise will overlap with the internal noise, forcing you to step up the sound levels to hear better.
  • Always clean the headphones before putting them pressure deep inside the ears. Earwax, dust particles, etc. continue to fester inside even when you aren’t physically using them.
  • Try to use a non-abrasive and dry cotton cloth (make sure that it’s lint-free) to clean the headphones. This will not only keep them clean but will also provide better sound service.
  • Including the headphones, regularly clean your ears as well while you’re at it. Get rid of the earwax and if needed, consult a professional to clean out the deeper wax thoroughly.
  • Always make sure the headphones fit you perfectly before putting them in. Stop using them and get better ones if they feel too tight and put excessive pressure on the inner walls.
  • Change your headphones every once in a while. Just like toothbrushes. Even if they are expensive, don’t use the same set of headphones for ears on end.
  • Try not to share your personal headphones with anyone. Like eye lenses, they too can transfer unwanted germs, bacteria, etc. from person to person.
  • Try to refrain from using headphones before going to sleep. Especially, don’t use them while sleeping. Unless they are doctor-recommended or specifically customized, just don’t go down that route.
  • Use comfortable earpads for your headphones. Nowadays, you can buy extra soft pads to use with your headphones. Make sure you’re not allergic to the earpad material, though.
  • Get used to regular health check-ups. That way, if you have tinnitus or any such ear-related conditions, the doctors can detect it in advance. And then you can use specialized headphones accordingly.


So, how to reduce ear pain from headphones after all? Turns out, if proper steps are taken within time, you can actually make it go away forever. Just make sure to adhere to the proper precautions next time round. That way, you won’t have to experience such pain ever again.

And of course, if the normal measures don’t seem to work appropriately, it’s time to consult a professional immediately. Long-lasting pain is almost always an indicator of something bigger. As a result, if that’s indeed the case, it’s best to get that checked out as soon as possible.

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