Can earphones cause ear infections?

They are so comfortable that many people can wear them for hours: the so-called in-ear headphones have become an integral part of everyday life. Whether you’re on the train, jogging, or at a professional conference, these tiny wireless earphones come in handy. But is there a problem? Especially on social media, the statement is circulating that these assistants every day can lead to a fungal infection in the ear. indeed… “Is this correct”?

An incubator for pathogens is created

As practical as in-ear headphones are, they do have an edge. At least for everyone who wears them a lot and loves to wear them for hours at a time, because: Wireless headphones close the ear canal, creating a warm, moist microclimate in the ear. This, in turn, can act as a real incubator for pathogens and promote fungal infection.

fungus can infect the ear canal, So it is called Otomykose Arises. Otomycosis is a fungal infection that can occur in the external auditory canal. Any foreign body, including hearing aids, is a risk factor for ear fungus. In other words, anyone who wears earbuds frequently and for extended periods of time tends to be at risk.

Come in addition: Earwax is pushed further into the ear canal by headphones. This, in turn, impairs the ear’s self-cleaning function – pathogens such as bacteria or fungi can no longer be properly broken down.

Typical symptoms

What are the symptoms of this infection caused by bacteria or fungi? The ear itches or hurts, and sometimes the ear canal cries or smells bad. The ear canal can also become swollen, which can lead to hearing loss.

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If you notice these symptoms in yourself, it is recommended to consult a doctor’s office. After proper treatment, the fungal infection usually clears up within 10 to 14 days.

This is how you can prevent it

But what if you’re reluctant to do without in-ear headphones – but of course you want to avoid such infections?

The most important preventive method To clean your headphones and case regularly. Anyone who also tends to have increased earwax production should regularly clean their ear canals.

And perhaps the easiest way of all: especially in the summer or when playing sports, it is recommended to give your ears a break after wearing in-ear headphones so that the auditory canal is ventilated.

By the way: fungal infections can be contagious. In order to prevent transmission, earphones should therefore not be exchanged – neither from person to person nor from ear to ear.

Image with ID: L7JcFK-gfcTs

“Is it true…” that earphones can trigger an ear infection? (picture: David Weinert)


Note: This text is for general information only. This information is not a substitute for medical treatment by a professional. If you have any health issues or concerns, be sure to contact your family doctor.


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