Q&A: Can wearing earbuds increase my risk for an ear infection?

Can wearing earbuds lead to ear infection

Wearing earbuds for hours on end can increase the risk of an ear infection because our ears should not be clogged or obstructed for extended periods of time. Extensive wear of earbuds can prevent wax from exiting the ear canal and create buildups that can lead to infection. Additionally, the surfaces of earbuds are prime environments for dirt and bacteria to accumulate. Inserting earbuds that are unclean can introduce these elements into the ear canal where they can flourish.

To reduce the risk of developing painful ear infections, you should sanitize earbuds on a regular basis by wiping them down with alcohol pads or recommended cleaning solutions.  Store earbuds in a clean case, if they are stored loosely in a bag or drawer they can pick up bacteria and debris. Minimize the amount of time that you wear earbuds.  Most importantly, do not share them with anyone, sharing increases your risk of exposure to bacteria.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.