Some users say that headphones have caused their ear infections. They might be right, but it might also be a misconception.
Regardless of the cause of ear infection, the important question for music lovers is: Can you wear headphones with an ear infection?
Music lovers, or even computer game players, can’t last a day without listening to music or playing their games. And their best companion is the headphone.
That is why research shows that this generation experience hearing damage 30 percent higher than in the 1980s and 1990s. Other than hearing damage, they are also prone to ear infections.
One study entitled Ear Infection and Hearing Loss Amongst Headphone Users published in the Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences found out that among the subjects examined, there were 4 out 136 subjects who have chronic middle ear infections and 4 subjects who experienced impacted wax.
It also found out 21.2% of the subjects had a hearing impairment. The study also proved that there was no relation between exposure to sound from headphones and hearing loss. The subjects in this study were Customer Service Representatives who use headphones as part of their job.
Can you wear headphones with an ear infection?
Theoretically, you can wear headphones even when you have an ear infection. But if you observe proper etiquette, wearing headphones with an ear infection is not a good practice.
Using headphones creates aural hygiene issues and infection in the ear canal. Especially if you share the headphones with other users, wearing it if you suffer an ear infection will risk other users.
What are the kinds of ear infections?
There are two major types of ear infection that humans have – external ear infections and acute middle ear infections. Both can be painful and need medical attention.
External ear infections
External ear infection is usually caused by dirty water and bacteria. It can be a fungal infection too. It is characterized by pus and swelling. It can be painful. It is common to people with eczema in the ears.
It is important to treat external ear infection because it can persist if the skin does not heal well. Doctors recommend ear drops and to wipe the pus off and drop antibiotic ear drops into the ear canal.
Acute middle ear infections
The acute middle ear infection is common to people with colds. The fluid in the middle ear causes the blockage and it can lead to eardrum rupture.
Just like the external ear infection, the acute middle ear infection can be caused by bacteria. This kind of ear infection needs oral antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection.
What are the other causes of ear pain?
If the ear pain is not caused by infection, it might be caused by other factors. You need to see a specialist if it has been hurting for weeks.
Long term ear pain is usually caused by adjacent body parts that the ears share nerves with. It can be caused by a sore throat or pain in neck joints. Ear cancers rarely cause ear pain.
What other factors can damage hearing?
Loud music can cause hearing damage. This is apparent especially in today’s generation that is exposed to loud sounds. Wearing in-ear headphones at high volume level for long periods of time can really damage the ears.
It can over stimulate and even destroy hair cells in the inner ear. If sound over 85 decibels is not safe, how much more dangerous is a rock concert at 120 decibels?
Hearing impairment is usually irreversible. Even the noise along the street or road construction can cause permanent hearing damage.
If you hear some ringing inside your ear, it might be a tinnitus which is a sign of over stimulation of hair cells.
Experts recommend giving your ears a break. If you spend 2 hours of listening to loud music, you should give your ears at least 20 hours off from loud sounds.
It is also safe to use in-ear headphones that seal in tightly to reduce the background noise and prevent you from turning up the volume.
Some in-ear headphones that cut outside noise are 1More Triple Driver In Ear Headphones, Panasonic ErgoFit RP-TCM125-W in-ear Earbuds, Sennheiser CX300 II Precision Enhanced Bass Earbuds, and Bluephonic Wireless Sport Bluetooth Headphones.
These are best selling in-ear headphones today that many users like. Know more about them by reading online reviews and users’ feedback. Happy listening!