Can Using Earbuds Cause Vertigo?

Earbuds also known as in-ear headphones have quickly risen in popularity because of their compact size and versatility. Millions of people around the world use earbuds regularly. However, concerns have been raised about the potential health effects of regularly using earbuds.

If you are wondering whether earbuds can cause vertigo, then don’t worry you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will talk about what vertigo is, its effects on your body, and whether earbuds can cause vertigo. I request you to read this article to the end if you wish to know more about this topic.

What is Vertigo?

Before knowing whether can earphones cause vertigo, we have to have a sound idea of what vertigo is. Vertigo is a physical condition that can make you feel a sensation of dizziness that can last for a few minutes.

Although vertigo can be caused by many factors such as ear infections, head injury, and medications, experts have claimed earphones to be the cause of this serious condition.

What are the symptoms of Vertigo?

As said before, Vertigo is a kind of disorder that can make your surrounding feel like moving or spinning. Some of the common symptoms of Vertigo are mentioned below.

A sense of spinning: This is probably the most common symptom of Vertigo. You and the environment around you will feel like spinning or moving. In extreme cases, this feeling can last for hours.

Sweating: Vertigo can also cause excessive sweating and make you feel lightheaded.

Nausea and vomiting: Vertigo can often make people nauseatic and cause vomiting especially if the sensation of dizziness and spinning is severe.

Difficulty walking: Vertigo affects body balance and coordination, so you may experience difficulty walking and standing.

Ears ringing: Many people having vertigo can experience an annoying high-pitched sound in their ear which is called tinnitus.

Can Earbuds cause Vertigo?

So can earbuds cause vertigo? The answer is yes, they certainly can. However, whether a person using earbuds will experience Vertigo or not depends on the individual’s susceptibility to vertigo, the duration of their earbuds usage, and the volume at which the earbuds are being used.

For most people, moderate usage of earbuds for a few hours with a medium volume may not cause any real problems. But individuals who are more sensitive to changes in inner ear pressure may experience vertigo regardless of the duration of earbuds usage and volume level.

Can Noise-Cancelling Earbuds also cause Vertigo?

Earbuds can potentially cause vertigo regardless of whether they are noise canceling or not. Noise-canceling earbuds can also induce vertigo in some people.

Noise-canceling earbuds work by generating alternate sound waves to cancel out the external noise which can cause a variation in pressure inside the ear canal. This variation of pressure can lead people who are sensitive to pressure changes to experience vertigo.

How are earbuds responsible for causing Vertigo?

We need to go a bit scientific in order to explain how exactly earbuds induce vertigo in some people. You see, earbuds are designed in a way that it fits snugly inside our ear canal. The snug fit is necessary to isolate the ambient noise from reaching the eardrum.

However, because of the tight fit, pressure may build up inside the ear which can hamper our body’s ability to maintain balance and spatial orientation. Our ear canals are filled with fluid along with tiny hairy structures called Stereocilia.

The hair follicles play a crucial role in detecting our body’s movement and maintaining balance. Pressure buildup in the ear canal can disrupt the functions of stereocilia which can lead to a feeling of dizziness and light-headedness.

Ear infections are also responsible for causing vertigo. Using earbuds for a long time can cause the insides of our ears to become warm and moist creating the ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This increases the risk of developing a nasty ear infection, consequently leading to Vertigo.

Additionally, sharing earbuds also increases the risk of an ear infection as they can easily transfer bacteria from another person’s ear to your ear.

How do you overcome Vertigo caused by earbuds?

Vertigo is an unpleasant feeling that no one wants to experience. Fortunately, there are ways following which you can easily protect yourself from feeling such a nuisance. A few things that you can do to overcome Vertigo caused by earbuds are:

Don’t use earbuds for a long time: If you are experiencing symptoms of vertigo, it is time that you take a break from using earbuds for an extended period. Taking a break from continuously using the earbuds can give your ears a chance to relax and recover.

Keep your ear clean: Practicing ear hygiene can go a long way in preventing Vertigo symptoms. You can consult an expert or watch youtube videos on how to keep ears free from mucks and wax.

Avoid inserting anything sharp inside your ear canal as doing so can potentially damage your eardrums and send you to the ER.

Try using over-ear headphones instead of Earbuds: Although earbuds are much more compact and easy to carry than headphones, according to a scientific study, people using good quality over-ear headphones has less chance of ever experiencing Vertigo.

Good ergonomic headphones do not build up as much pressure inside the ear canal as earphones. Hence people using headphones are less likely to encounter the condition.

Consult your doctor: If you are continuously experiencing vertigo despite following every precaution, you may need to consult a doctor as soon as possible.

These are some of the tips by following which you can overcome Vertigo and continue to enjoy music and other content using earbuds.


In conclusion, it can be said that depending on individuals, earbuds can certainly influence people to experience Vertigo. If someone uses earbuds for a prolonged time at high volumes he/she may experience symptoms related to vertigo.

It is advised to follow precautions and avoid using earbuds for a long time if you wish to prevent the effects of vertigo. If you experience persistent symptoms, please seek medical advice immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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