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Q. Can long-time earphone usage cause pain in ears?

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan N
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 09, 2017 and last reviewed on: Jun 20, 2019

Hi doctor,

Yesterday I used earphones which fit directly into ears for a very long-time. Today I am having extreme unbearable pain in back of head and ears. I have stopped using earphones now. Is there a fast fix for this unbearable back head pain? Can I take Disprin (I never take painkillers)? I use earphones on a daily basis under the prescribed volume limits. Though I have little pain sometime but not to this extent. Please suggest any medication.

Dr. Shyam Kalyan N

Allergy Specialist Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

Hi, Welcome to

My understanding and inference is that the pain is not related to the earphones or sound level. This is because of loud noise which usually produces classical symptoms like giddiness, ringing sound in ear, hearing loss, intolerance to loud sounds and some pain in ear.

Your symptoms are not very classical to diagnose.

Please answer below questions for clear diagnosis.

  • Do you have any difference in pain with rest or change of positions?
  • Did you perform any exercise or difficult posture the previous day?
  • Do you have any other symptom like fever, throat pain, ear discharge or decreased hearing?

With the details available as of now, I infer that the pain is muscular most probably. For the same, I suggest you the following measures.

  1. Take a tablet of Paracetamol 650 mg.
  2. Take adequate rest.
  3. For few days you should not use ear phones, do not listen loud sounds and no restriction for normal sounds.
  4. Sleep well and have nutritious food rich in all vitamins.
  5. Do some neck stretching exercises.
  6. If pain does not decrease /is persistent/increases do contact me.

To understand any occurrence of sound trauma to your ears we must do a pure tone audiometry. This is the definitive investigation to understand any damage to inner ear due to sound.

I feel a strong pain killer like Aspirin is not required for these complaints. However, there is no reason to worry as of now.

The Probable causes:

Muscle ache.
Bad posture.
Rigorous exercise.

Investigations to be done:

Pure tone audiometry (this investigation is usually present in speech centers and otolaryngology clinics).

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online.--->

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