Head, Neck, or Jaw Aches from Headphones? Here is Why

by Josh Koop | Last Updated:   1 week ago
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When you buy wireless noise canceling headphones, you are expecting nothing but the best and smooth sailing from there. The last thing you could have expected was that once you begin to use your very expensive headphones, you begin to feel pain in your jaw area, so can headphones make your jaw hurt?

With headphones, there can be a force applied on the this squeezing on your head which causes skull temporal tension, increase jaw bone pain, and for some even neck based tension. While this doesn’t impact a large amount of users you should know it could happen with headphones.

Despite what you may think, this is not a very abnormal experience. A lot of noise cancelling headphone wearers experience this very same symptom.

Many people have looked into this very concerning problem and some professionals have even given their thoughts on what could be causing these issues for people.

This article will take a look into what is causing your jaw to hurt and what you can do to prevent the pain from happening.

Types of Pain Caused by Noise Canceling Headphones

When you begin to wear your headphones and you start to feel sinus pressure, ear discomfort, or pain your ear and jaw, know that this has happened to many others out there.

A lot of people just assume that the pain is from using the noise canceling headphones for too long and their bodies will adjust to it. This is not true.

You will notice that those discomforts will not be going away any time soon, and in fact, once you turn on the noise canceling aspect of your headphones, the pain may actually turn to become even worse.

When you experience this kind of pain it is important that you do not ignore the signals your body is sending out to you. If you do, you will notice that these symptoms will all lead to major headaches and making you feel very dizzy.

The last thing you want to experience from your headphones is to feel very disoriented and completely out of it. So beware if you are starting to experience any of the above stated pains and symptoms. Make sure you treat your body correctly. 

What Is Causing These Pains and Symptoms?

There has been studies going on for the past few years on this very subject. There are a couple things that can bring you and your jaw pain when you are using your noise canceling headphones.

Some doctors who specialize in the areas that are affected by the headphones have theorized that the sound waves that cancel each other out may still be able to give off just enough low frequency vibrations that will stimulate the balance receptors that can be found in our ears.

What this can cause is that when those receptors are reached, they make the head believe it is moving. Your eyes though will signal back that is in fact not moving.

So this creates mixed signals in your head, which can be one of the biggest reasons why you are feeling all that pain when you are listening to your noise canceling headphones.

It is as if your head is receiving two different kinds of signals at once and does not know how to compute all of it at once. So even though it seems like a very minimal effect, when it comes to your head, that is really all it takes to make your day go from very good to really bad. 

Your Body May Not Be Built For Them

Even though you may experience all this pain from your noise cancelling headphones, there are some out there that will never experience these symptoms.

Some may also experience the pain at first but eventually, their bodies will adjust to that experience and they will no longer feel that pain.

So unfortunately you will not be able to know if your body is built for them until you invest in a pair and see if you experience any pain, and if you do, if that pain eventually goes away.

There have been studies on this but as of right now, no one can pinpoint why exactly some are able to use these kinds of headphones with feeling no pain while others will experience what they describe as disorienting and nauseating type pain.

What Can You Do to Prevent the Pain?

There is really not much you can do when it comes to trying to prevent you from having the above stated symptoms and pain. Some say the best practice you can take to try and avoid having to experience that pain.

The first thing you may want to try is only having your noise canceling headphones on for a short period of time at a time. That way you will be able to see if your body can adjust to this new way of taking in sound waves.

If after you have given yourself some time, and you are still experiencing the same level of pain and symptoms, you may just have to accept that your body was not built for these types of headphones.

These headphones are not cheap, so you are taking a huge financial risk but if you are able to, once you have decided that your body is not very receptive to noise canceling headphone, you can try to return the pair you just invested.

Then you can change your focus on investing in some sound isolating earbuds or shooting earmuffs that you can put over your regular earbuds.

While these may not be as effective at canceling out noise, they are the next best thing and you will find that they are a lot less expensive.

Final Thoughts on Why Do Headphones Hurt My Jaw

In the end, when you are experiencing that pain in your jaw, ear, or sinuses, you can at least be at peace knowing that you are not alone in it.

While medical professionals are still trying to nail down exactly what causes this, they are getting closer and giving an educated guess.

Even though there is no real prevention you can take before you invest a good chunk of money into them, it is important you know all the facts before you spend your well earned money on a product that may bring you nothing but pain.

So before you spend your money, make sure you know the risks.

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