Skip to content


Close this search box.

Why do earbuds make my ears itch?

Why do earphones scratch my ears? It’s a typical query with a variety of responses. Because they are compact, transportable, and practical, earbuds are widely used. They are compatible with a variety of electrical gadgets and provide decent sound quality. But some people may experience issues with earphones, such as itching.

Earbuds are a more secure fit inside the ear canal than conventional headphones, including around-ear models. Some consumers may experience issues with this design since the earphones may aggravate their delicate inner ear skin. Additionally, earbuds can cause itching by trapping dirt and particles within the ear. In this post, we’ll discuss the potential causes of earbud itchiness and suggest some fixes.

Causes of Itchy Ears When Wearing Earbuds

To stop the itching, you must determine its underlying cause and use the appropriate treatment. Changing your earbuds, moisturizing your skin to prevent dryness, and cleaning your ears and earbuds to prevent wax buildup are the most common remedies. Just keep in mind that there might be more underlying issues for which you require medical attention.

You should be aware that there is more than one way to answer this. There are several possible reasons for itching, and different individuals might respond to earphones in various ways. Even two or more of these factors might be present at once. Check to see if these points apply to your situation after reading them all.

By taking proper care of your earphones and cleaning them frequently, you may usually find a solution. But if the itching continues, you may want to visit a doctor to rule out other possibilities like an infection or allergic response. These are the most typical explanations:

Dirty earbuds

The most frequent cause of itchy ears with earbuds is probably that they are unclean. Earbuds can accumulate perspiration, dirt, and other particles as you use them. If you don’t clean them frequently, this filth might cause discomfort and itching. Online, you’ve probably seen some disgusting images of people’s earphones. Have you ever said “no, thanks” when someone gave you a set of waxy earbuds? Stop allowing this to happen to you!

To clean your earphones, use a soft cloth or cotton swab. Wipe the earphones down gently, being careful not to scratch the sensitive speaker mesh. To clean the earbuds’ crevices of any accumulation, you can use use a toothpick. Make sure to clean the earphones’ exterior surface as well. They go in your ear.

Earbuds Size

This could affect not only the comfort of your years overall but also the itching in your ears. One of the most frequent causes of ear irritation is due to this. If the earbuds you purchased do not properly fit your ears, they will not only be uncomfortable but also itchy.

You can experiment with using an earbud tip of a different size to resolve this issue. Try moving up or down a size if you’re using the regular size. Unfortunately, not all earbuds come in a variety of tip sizes. So, if the issue persists, you might need to try a new earbud brand or model.

It seems that many consumers just consider an earbud’s brand and level of popularity when making their purchase, disregarding whether or not they will really fit their ears. Please make sure that a pair of earbuds will fit in your ears before buying them, as various people have different ear sizes.

Ear Wax buildup

Earwax can accumulate within your ear canal when you repeatedly push it with your earphones if you don’t routinely clean your ears. Hearing issues, itching, and irritation are all possible effects of this wax. Furthermore, if the earwax is dry and firm, it might obstruct the ear canal and hurt.

If the mesh on your earphones is coated with earwax, they may also sound different. It’s probably time to clean your earphones if you hear a difference in the sound quality (and your ears).

Placing earbuds too deep in ear canal

Earbuds that are inserted too deeply in the ear canal might irritate and scratch the skin. The pressure might also cause headaches and vertigo. Additionally, if you have a cold or sinus infection, sticking your earphones too far in your ear might make your symptoms worse.

Gently place the earbuds into your ear canal, being careful not to press them too far in. Make sure rubber tips fit snugly but not too firmly if using them. If you have a cold or sinus infection, you should also stop using earphones. Additionally, before wearing earphones, remember to dry and clean your ears after a shower.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do my ears itch when I use earbuds?

Your ears may itch when you use earbuds due to a variety of reasons including skin irritation, the presence of earwax, bacterial growth or even an allergic reaction to the materials used in the earbuds.

Can earbuds cause ear infections?

Yes, improper or frequent use of earbuds can potentially lead to ear infections. Bacteria from your ear or even from the surface of the earbuds can breed and grow if the earbuds are not cleaned regularly, which may cause infections.

How can I prevent my ears from itching when using earbuds?

Maintaining good ear hygiene, cleaning your earbuds regularly, and ensuring that your earbuds are not inserted too deep into your ear canal can help prevent your ears from itching. If you suspect an allergy to the earbud materials, try changing to hypoallergenic ones.

What should I do if my ears become sore or swollen after using earbuds?

If your ears become sore or swollen after using earbuds, it’s suggested to take a break from using them. If discomfort persists, make sure to see a doctor or a healthcare professional.

How often should I clean my earbuds?

You should clean your earbuds as often as you can, ideally every time after use. Refer to the manufacture’s guidelines as methods may vary depending on the type and model of your earbuds.

Can I become allergic to my earbuds?

Yes, you can develop an allergic reaction to your earbuds, particularly if they contain materials that are common allergens, like nickel. If you suspect that you may be allergic, switch to hypoallergenic earbuds, and consult with a healthcare provider if symptoms persist.

What’s the best alternative to earbuds if they make my ears itch?

If earbuds cause discomfort, you may wish to switch to over-the-ear headphones. These can often provide a more comfortable experience, as they do not enter the ear canal. However, cleanliness and hygiene are still very important.

Can frequent use of earbuds lead to other ear problems?

Frequent use of earbuds at high volumes can potentially lead to noise-induced hearing loss. The prolonged presence of earbuds can also increase the risk of developing ear infections.

Are wireless earbuds less likely to cause itching?

Whether earbuds are wired or wireless usually has no effect on whether or not they cause itching. The causes of itching are generally related to cleanliness, ear health, or potential allergic reactions rather than the technology of the earbuds.

Is it normal for my ears to itch after using new earbuds?

While some users may experience slight irritation when adjusting to a new pair of earbuds, persistent itching or discomfort is not normal and may indicate an allergic reaction or an ear infection. In such cases, stop using the earbuds and consult with a healthcare provider if symptoms persist.