Why Do My Ears Itch When I Wear Earbuds

Why Do My Ears Itch When I Wear Earbuds

We live in an era where we have to use earbuds, AirPods, and noise-canceling headphones. We have different works we may be unable to perform without using them. In an online Zoom meeting where voice clarity is essential for both listeners and speakers, earbuds reduce the surrounding noise and make us listen with absolute clarity.

But, the all-day use of earbuds allows moisture to be created and get trapped for a long time causing itchiness to the ears. Usually, itchy ears are caused by skin allergies or ear infections, and using earbuds, especially with high volume for a very long time.

Itchy ears are not a big problem and it is part of the daily routine of our habits, our Dos and Don’ts. But, there is nothing really critical to worry about and we should take it normally and look for the causes, solutions, and things to avoid.

How and Why do ears cause itching?

Our ear actually consists of three parts (Outer Ear, Middle Ear, and Inner Ear) and they all work in coordination and process sound. When we wear earbuds, our ears feel much louder sounds than normal. If we continuously hear high-frequency sound waves, small hair cells in the inner ears begin to shake quickly and they end up broken causing itchiness to hearing loss.

Earbuds on the ear for hours can damage ear skin, obstruct the ear canal and build up ear wax as a result many people may develop painful ear infections. Earbuds go inside an Auditory Tube where it generates ear wax and thus it causes germs to grow which may be due to the dust. 

According to Dr. Kohan, MD

Itchy ears are the signs of infections caused by bacteria or viruses after a cold or flu. Ears normally generate ear wax and oil to keep the ears clean and healthy and there is a natural balance of ear wax, natural oils, and skin cells in the ear canal. If this balance gets changed or if you clean ear wax excessively, you may remove the ear wax completely which dries up the ears and thus causes itchiness.

Symptoms of itchy Ears

  • Redness on the outside of Ears
  • Discharge or type of drainage from your ears.
  • Pain and the affected area may feel tender to touch
  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Prevention

Why Earbuds Make Your Ears Itch | Causes and Solutions

1)Long size of earbuds

One of the most common causes which cause ear itching is the size of the earbuds. Earbuds usually come in standard sizes and there are different sizes of ears. So, they have to get fit. But, the too large size of earbuds irritates and causes discomfort which also affects the sound and volume coming into the ears and ultimately gives your ears itching.


You must make sure that you purchase earbuds in the correct size according to your ears. If you are unable to find the right size or you have already bought earbuds, you can use ear tips that attach to your earbuds and this part attaches to your ears.
Ear tips come in varied sizes and varied build materials. You can use ear tips of perfect size and you can also pick soft material which keeps your ears relaxed and saves you from itching.

If earbuds do not fit into your ears, you might need to change the model of your earbuds and try a different size this time. Some people play with earbuds casing to adjust the size accordingly but this is not recommended as it will be of no use for anyone. But most earbuds have rubber tips which you can replace and purchase a new tip and it will be an inexpensive solution that will make your earbuds comfier.

You should first try earbuds into your ears before buying them and check whether they easily fit into your ears. If you have to press hard to get them inserted into your ears, they are not comfortable. Earbuds must easily fit into your ears and they should have a firm grip on your ears.


Most people with itching problems have ear wax which is light-colored, dry, and flaky in appearance. The ear wax is important to keep your ears clean but in some situations, it may become irritated causing the ears to itch. Low ear wax is mainly due to the excessive cleaning of the ears which dries up the ears and makes ears itch.

If you use earbuds too long continuously, you must have observed that the ear wax sticks with earbuds which is why it is said to clean your audio devices periodically. So, these audio devices like earbuds stick earwax with them and thus it reduces the ear wax which you feel in the form of itching and ear infection.

Earwax due to wearing earbuds

When Earbuds are more exposed to the external environment or they are used excessively, there are more chances of sticking dust or ear wax to the speakers of AirPods which may block the sound.


First of all, you must keep your ears clean because excessive ear wax is due to dust particles when you are exposed to an external environment too much. You can remove ear wax using liquid ear drops or flushing with water. The itching will be resolved immediately and there will be no blockage caused by ear wax.

Next, you must clean your ears gently and don’t push hard on your ear cleaner stick which may remove all the ear wax causing dryness.

Itchy ears and what can you do to relive

3)Food allergies

There are some cases when people who have some kind of allergy feel itching in their ears after eating some type of food. If you have a pollen allergy, you might feel itching when you eat melons, almonds, or bananas. These people also face trouble breathing after eating these types of foods.


If you ever see any type of skin allergy or itching, you should immediately seek your doctor and find the solution. Otherwise, remember to take care of the things, and foods that harm your skin or body.

4)Change in Weather

When there is a change in season and the weather is becoming cooler and it causes dryness in the ears. This is due to the change in the balanced mixture of natural oils which gets disturbed by the dryness of ear canals and causes itching. You might have observed in the colder weather that it is causing your body to dry up, your skin gets dried up, and your ears’ canals dry too.


Always take care of your body and the changing behavior of your skin especially when the weather goes to its extreme and you should avoid exposing your body to the external environment.

ear itching in ear canal

5)Loose Hair in the ear canal

If you cut your hair too often, tiny hair falls into your ears which irritates your ear thus causing itching. This is just like dust which causes irritation in your body when you are not cleaned which is why you should clean your body.


You should remove this offensive hair from the ears just like you remove ear wax and ear itching will be resolved immediately.

lose hair cause ear itching

6)Ear Infection

Itchiness is one of the earliest symbols which indicate an ear infection. If you ever feel itchiness in your ears, you must immediately seek a doctor because it may be due to an ear infection which may result in hearing damage or hearing loss. Even the doctors also state that people using earbuds are more prone to ear infections. Itchiness causes ears to get warm and red especially if you have a fever or any disease, it hurts a lot.

Fungal infection such as Otomycosis is not very common and it mostly appears in people living in tropical areas or more damped areas.


If you have an ear infection, you shouldn’t waste your time going to a doctor and you should avoid wearing your earbuds for too long. You should clean your ears regularly because dirty ears cause ear infections and you should also clean your earbuds which generate ear wax causing an ear infection.
Until the fungus is not removed, don’t expect to get away with ear itching.


The ear canal skin may become irritated and itchy due to conditions similar to Eczema. Generally, irritants like hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol cause ears to be itchy. Some metals used in earrings jewelry may lead to itchy ears. Some people have allergies to nickel which is used in making jewelry.


You should always use the treatment/steroid cream carefully when applying it to your ear canal. A drop or two must be enough but sometimes, it may need a steroid prescription for successful treatment.

8)Physical disorders

If you have disorders like diabetes or internal disease in your lungs or liver, you are more prone to an ear infection which causes the ears to be itchy. You must take into consideration any bacterial infection which may be due to water or any fluid.


Don’t overload your ears with water or any fluid which may cause bacterial infection. Always seek a doctor if you ever face any infection and you have either diabetes or liver disease.

A 2015 Study published in Otolaryngology Online Reports that there need not be an underlying bacterial or fungal infection to cause itching as evidenced by a condition called asteatosis. It is important to consider asteatosis as a differential diagnosis for chronic and persistent itching when other causes have been ruled out.

How to avoid Itchy Ears

  1. You must be very careful in buying jewelry and check which metal is being used and devoid of metal that might engender allergic infections.
  2. If you are a professional swimmer, use a solution to get rid of your ear being in the water excessively.
  3. You should carefully manage the overproduction of ear wax by using techniques such as cleaning your ears, cleaning your earbuds, or ear drops.
  4. Always save your ear cavity from excessive moisture when taking a bath.
  5. Use shampoos that are not harmful to sensitive skin.
  6. Avoid getting your ears in touch with dirty materials.
How to treat ITCHY EARS /home remedy

4 Remedies to treat Itchy ear

i)If you believe that water has entered your ears, you must try the Gravity option. Just follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Just tilt the side of your head with the affected ear to the ground.
  • Put your finger into that ear and rotate it.
  • You can also use an ear cleaner stick to wash it.
  • Now, use a towel or cotton to dr clean your ears.

ii)Flushing your ear with warm water will remove excess ear wax. The gentle force of warm water will dislodge the earwax.

  • Tilt your head upright and straighten your ear canal.
  • Enter a small amount of water into a syringe.
  • Drain it out by tilting your head on the opposite side.
  • Clean water with cotton or clean cloth.

iii)Olive oil is one of the simplest remedies to relieve itch in the ear.

  • It keeps your ear canal sufficiently lubricated and removes excess ear wax.
  • It softens the rigid ear wax.
  • Just drip a few drops of olive oil into your ears.
  • Have rest while keeping your position still to ensure it touches your ears and damps them.
  • Now, dry clean oil from the ear.

iv)Hydrogen peroxide is a very efficient material for reducing ear wax. Even many commercial ears drop also contain them.

  • Mix equal parts of Hydrogen Peroxide with water.
  • Fill an ear dropper with this solution.
  • Tilt your head sideways and put this solution.
  • Then, tilt your head opposite and drain out the solution.
  •  Wipe away all this solution.

People Also Ask

Generally, wearing earbuds for too long causes harmful effects on the health of the ear, hearing, and skin. Some people, really feel allergic to earbuds which may be due to wearing them for a long time, using low-quality skin care products, or exposure to moisture.

You should not use AirPods for a longer time continuously. You should always keep in mind the Golden Rule of using audio devices; Use AirPods for 60 minutes and on 60% volume in a day.
Just take periodic breaks from your listening time with your AirPods on your ears.

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