Can Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Cause Vertigo? Noise-cancelling earbuds are very popular among the current generation, but they are not for everyone. Many people inadvertently buy noise-cancelling headphones, only to regret it later. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably wondered, “Can noise-cancelling earbuds cause vertigo?”
Noise-cancelling headphones are classified into two types. The passive variant of noise cancellation is used in one type, while the active variant is used in the other.
Only those who use the active variant experience the negative effects. The following information should assist you in understanding the benefits and drawbacks of noise-cancelling earbuds.
Can Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Cause Vertigo?
High music volume can possibly cause vertigo and other ear damage. Another common cause of vertigo in headphones users is noise-canceling technology. The main prevention would be to control the volume percentage and be aware of how much time you spend wearing headphones.
WHAT IS VERTIGO OR DIZZINESS?
You don’t always need to be listening to earbuds or headphones to experience vertigo. It’s a strange sensation, to say the least, one that makes you feel off-balance and dizzy. But it’s not like when you wake up too quickly or have been out in the heat for too long without adequate hydration.
Vertigo is distinguished by the sensation that your entire environment, or just your head, is spinning. It is most commonly associated with health conditions that affect the sensory nerve pathway, your brain, or your inner ear.
It’s not always permanent. Sometimes it’s long-term. It can happen to anyone at any age, though people over the age of 65 were once the most vulnerable. Vertigo, by the way, has nothing to do with being afraid of heights, despite the fact that looking down from above can cause dizziness.
WHAT ARE THE GENERAL SYMPTOMS OF VERTIGO?
You may lose your balance and feel lightheaded if you have vertigo. You might also be more susceptible to motion sickness. Another symptom of vertigo is nausea, which is followed by vomiting. Headaches, a full feeling in your ear, and even tinnitus, or ringing in your ears, can all be troubling signs of vertigo.
It feels rotational, which distinguishes it from other bouts of dizziness and faintness. So, how does this relate to noise-cancelling earbuds? Continue reading and you’ll find out!
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN VERTIGO AND EARBUDS?
Now that you know more about vertigo, we can discuss how it comes into play when you use those wireless earbuds. When you insert earbuds into your ears, they seal into the inner ear.
When you do this repeatedly and then blast your favorite music, you risk injuring the sensitive parts of your ear, including those tiny hair follicle cells and the nerves inside your ears. Vertigo is extremely disorienting, and you may have wondered what was going on the last time you cranked it up for an hour at the gym while wearing earbuds.
You may have felt the world lurch as you walked out into the parking lot, removing your earbuds so you could drive responsibly. That wasn’t your imagination at work. That was vertigo caused by changing the space in your head. Wireless Bluetooth earbuds do an excellent job of immersing us in our own minds, which is ideal for shutting out the outside world.
The noise-cancelling variety adds even more peace and quiet, allowing us to tune into ourselves and our own personal soundtrack as we walk. But when that golden peace is broken by the removal of the earbuds, we often feel befuddled.
Do you know why that is? This is due to the fact that these tiny little things were created to block out the unwanted noises around you. Whether you use regular wireless earbuds or noise-cancelling ones, if you wear them for too long or play them too loudly (or both! ), you can cause major ear problems.
It’s even greater when they’re equipped with a mic for active noise cancellation (ANC) which combats the surrounding ambient noise with sound waves to cancel them out. With this disturbance on a regular basis, it can damage the nerves in your ears and those hair cells.
The louder you dial up the volume, the more the hair cells will bend so your brain can detect that sound. This isn’t a cause for concern with minimal exposure and reasonable volumes. However, the majority of people rely on their wireless earbuds on a daily basis.
Most people wear them for longer than they should on a daily basis. Furthermore, most people tend to crank up the volume, not realizing that they’ll need to find a different kind of earbud before they’re old a hearing aid.
When the nerves and hair cells in your ears are damaged, you can develop a variety of ear conditions that can easily lead to vertigo. Labyrinthitis, vestibular neuronitis, and Meniere’s disease are among them. Another way that using earbuds can cause vertigo? By distributing them!
We know that sharing is caring, but when it comes to earbuds, keep them to yourself or clean them thoroughly after sharing them. Even if you keep your earbuds to yourself, they can cause ear infections and give you that strange vertigo feeling. You should always take good care of them for your own health and hygiene.
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HOW TO PREVENT EARBUD-RELATED VERTIGO FROM OCCURRING?
Some people experience vertigo that is unrelated to the use of earbuds or headphones. But if you’re a music lover who can’t live without your wireless noise-cancelling earbuds, you should definitely keep reading to learn how to avoid disaster and protect yourself from vertigo.
These tips will also keep you from permanently damaging your ears, allowing you to enjoy your ability to hear. The most effective way to avoid vertigo is to avoid using your wireless earbuds on a regular basis. Every now and then, your ears require a rest. You can’t always tune out the outside world.
As wonderful as it is to connect with your favorite musicians and hear every little nuance in your favorite songs, your ears need some time away from the noise, so make sure to give them some.
- Turning down the volume is related to the first point. The length of time you listen with your earbuds in your ear, as well as the volume you listen at, have a significant impact on your hearing and your chances of experiencing vertigo.
- Keep your device volume at no more than 75 decibels to avoid overdoing it. Any louder, say 110 or 140 decibels, and you’ll start losing your hearing. For comparison, a rock concert that is completely jamming is around 100 decibels.
- Cleaning your earbuds to avoid infection is also important for preventing vertigo, as previously stated. Even if you never share them with anyone else, you should take the time to clean them thoroughly (which you can learn how to do here!).
- If you borrow them from a friend for a trip, perhaps to see if you like the brand and want to buy it for yourself, make sure you clean them before inserting them into your own ears. And be sure to clean them before returning them to them.
This will prevent getting ear infections that can cause that telltale vertigo dizziness. Worried about vertigo? You can do a few special exercises to help maintain your balance and ward off dizziness when it does strike. There are three methods to try: Brandt-Daroff, Epley Maneuver, and Semont Maneuver.
Begin by sitting in an upright position. Position yourself in a lying-down position, so that you are lying down on one side. Your head should be angled upward at an angle of up to 45 degrees.
When you’re finished with one side, switch to the other right away. Hold each position for about 30 seconds, or until the vertigo goes away. When it does, you can return to a seated upright position.
2. Epley Maneuver:
Sit up in bed upright for this next vertigo-relieving technique. Turn your head 45 degrees to the same side as the ear that’s bothering you. Then, gradually lie down on the bed, lowering your head so that it is just slightly off the edge of the bed.
Hold the position for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, turn your entire body to face where your head is currently facing and turn your head so you’re facing down in the bed. Hold that position for 30 seconds. After that, slowly rise to a sitting position on the edge of your bed and move slowly until you’re fully upright.
3. Semont Maneuver
To begin this maneuver, sit upright on the edge of your bed. You’ll then turn your head to the side, angled at a 45-degree angle with the affected ear. Then, for about 60 seconds, lie down on your side, facing the direction of the affected ear.
Switch to your other side quickly and hold it for another 60 seconds while keeping your head still in place. When finished, slowly return to an upright seated position. It should take 10 minutes if done correctly and with your head level. A doctor’s advice can ensure that you’re performing these anti-vertigo positions correctly.
HOW DO YOU STOP VERTIGO CAUSED BY EARBUDS?
We’ve already discussed how to maneuver with exercises for vertigo relief, but there are things you can do with your wireless Bluetooth earbuds to help you as well.
Even if you’ve never experienced vertigo while wearing earbuds, we recommend that you follow these guidelines to help prevent hearing damage and protect your ear health. Here’s what to do if you start feeling dizzy while listening to music through your earbuds.
1. Lower the Volume or Turn It off Completely
When listening to music with your wireless earbuds, if you start feeling dizzy or like the environment is whirling and swirling, lower the volume. Better yet, turn it off. It’s best to reduce the volume first, then switch it off rather quickly.
2. Unplug Your Wireless Earbuds
Once the sound is off, take the earbuds out of your ears. Your ears might be ringing initially, but it should dissipate in a few minutes.
3. Make Sure to Sit Down
Make sure to sit down as soon as you take the wireless earbuds out of your ears. Don’t try to walk around because it will aggravate your vertigo.
As you sit, you’ll notice that the dizziness subsides. Don’t make sudden changes to your body position. Try to remain still and relaxed. Also, don’t look it up. If you’ve been sitting, you can gradually shift into a lying-on-your-side position to avoid falling over. Maintain this posture until you feel better.
4. Talk to Your Doctor
Most cases of vertigo with wireless noise-cancelling earbuds will go away within a few minutes or even a few hours. It depends on the individual. However, if you find that many hours later, you still have vertigo, especially if your symptoms are severe, you should call your doctor to get checked out.
BE SAFE WHEN VERTIGO AFFECTS YOU
There are other things you should do if you have vertigo caused by your wireless earbuds, especially if you’re not at home or in a safe space. In the interest of your safety and the safety of others, please follow these tips:
- When you’re dizzy, don’t drive or operate heavy machinery.
- If you’re driving and you can’t get your earbuds out, reduce your speed, park your car, and try to relax. Do not attempt to get out and stand. Wait until the dizziness has subsided.
- If you can’t find a seat on the subway or while walking through the busy city streets, lean against a wall, post, tree, or anything else sturdy you can find.
- Don’t switch positions abruptly. Make sure you remove your earbuds as well.
- After the vertigo has passed, keep those earbuds out of your ears. You should not use them again on the same day because it will bring your vertigo back.
To avoid having any of this happen to you in the first place, you should definitely reread our tips on how to prevent vertigo from earbuds.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU USE YOUR WIRELESS EARBUDS TO AVOID VERTIGO?
We know the burning question on your mind is how long you can use those wireless earbuds each time before they cause vertigo. Doctors recommend that you never use more than 60% of the total sound volume for more than 60 minutes per day.
The more loudly you listen, the less time you should spend with your earbuds. You can use your wireless noise-cancelling earbuds for longer periods of time each day if you keep the volume low.
If you want to maintain your ear health and avoid vertigo, you should keep track of the volume you use and limit your time using them so you can enjoy listening to music in this manner for years to come.
A FEW MORE TIPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM HEADPHONE-RELATED VERTIGO
Hearing loss caused by loud noises, such as blasting music into your ears with wireless earbuds, takes time. Because it is not sudden, most people do not realize the damage is being done until it is too late.
Hearing loss symptoms include a buzzing, ringing, or even roaring in your ears after hearing loud noises. You may also notice that sounds are muffled or distorted. It is critical to take care of your ear health now in order to avoid losing your hearing later on.
MAKE SURE YOU USE YOUR EARBUDS THE RIGHT WAY
If you use your wireless noise-cancelling Bluetooth earbuds correctly, you can still enjoy them. This method will completely prevent hearing loss. The key to using wireless earbuds is moderation. Keep the volume low and avoid leaving your earbuds in your ears for too long.
You can still immerse yourself in the experience even if you’re listening to your favorite band’s new album, watching a movie on a portable device, or playing a video game at 60 percent of the maximum volume level. You can still enjoy these activities if you take some time away from them.
Asking those around you if they hear what you’re listening to is a great way to ensure you’re safe. If they do, you are endangering your ears. If not, you’re not listening at an appropriate volume. Remember that one of the most serious risks of listening to music too loudly with your wireless earbuds extends beyond hearing damage.
When you can’t hear what’s going on around you, you’re more likely to be involved in an accident. Perhaps you wouldn’t listen to your earbuds while crossing the street or driving (we hope not! ), but you might feel more at ease going for a jog on your neighborhood park’s hiking and biking trail.
Even in that scenario though, you’re not the only person jogging. And if a cyclist should be trying to come by and shouting to you to look out, you won’t hear it. You could be walking to your car at the gym and not notice someone waiting to mug you. There are so many reasons why you should keep the volume low enough while you’re out in the world. Be safe!
Noise-cancelling wireless earbuds can contribute to vertigo, but only if you don’t use them properly. You should be fine if you listen to your music at a reasonable volume and don’t listen for too long at a time.
Make sure to keep your earbuds clean as well. The gunk that can accumulate there can cause an ear infection, which will almost certainly cause vertigo. To avoid experiencing vertigo, keep your ears and earbuds clean and take care of your hearing.
FAQs About Noise-Cancelling Headphones Causing Vertigo
Can headphones trigger vertigo?
A common cause of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). We present a case of a woman who presented with a severe episode of disabling positional vertigo. Despite the fact that she had no known etiologic risk factors, this attack occurred after she had been wearing digital noise-cancelling headphones for 12 hours.
Do noise-cancelling headphones have any drawbacks?
Jaw pain, headaches, dizziness, and ear pressure are some of the most common complaints about noise-cancelling headphones. The ear pressure, in particular, has been compared to that experienced on an ascending airplane.
Can loud music cause vertigo?
Some patients report strange symptoms, such as sudden vertigo and blurred vision when exposed to loud noises. Their hearing for internal noises (such as a heartbeat and the grating of knee joints) is far superior to that of the average person.
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