Why Do Headphones Give Me a Headache?

Headphones have become our constant everyday companion. Almost everyone wears them and with so many wireless models out and about, they’ve become more convenient than ever.

However, every benefit also has its downside, as wireless and wired headphones can cause headaches. So, if you were wondering why do headphones give me a headache and how to stop it, then this article is the one for you. By the time you’re done reading it, you will understand why headphones are dangerous when used inappropriately. 

I will also give you some tips on preventing headphone headaches, so stay with me and let’s get started.

Why Do Headphones Give Me a Headache
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Why Do Headphones Give Me a Headache?

Depending on the type of headphones you have (Bluetooth or Wired), there might be EMR and non-EMR-related reasons why they are causing you a headache. EMR from wireless headphones is non-ionizing but releases heat. This can be harmful, especially after prolonged exposure.

Any type of wireless electronic device close to the head emits unnecessary EMR, no matter how low or weak that radiation is – “low does not mean safe”.

Let’s examine why EMR from headphones is harmful and what you can do to minimize or prevent it.

Types of Electromagnetic Radiation

There are two types of electromagnetic radiation:

Ionizing EMR

Ionizing EMR has higher frequency radiation that causes electrons to split from inside the atom. This results in permanent cell damage. Sources of this type of radiation include UV rays, X-rays, and gamma radiation.

Non-Ionizing EMR

Non-ionizing EMR has a lower frequency and energy radiation which doesn’t cause electrons to split from the atom. Today’s electronic devices emit this type of radiation, including wireless headphones.

Possible EMR-Related Reasons Behind the Headache
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Possible EMR-Related Reasons Behind the Headache

Even though wireless or wired headphones emit non-ionizing EMR, there are still concerns about their effects on the head, brain, and overall body.

Effects on hormone levels

Many studies pay attention to the effects of EMR on the brain, specifically neurotransmitters. Namely, the nervous system is one of the most sensitive organ systems to EMR.

According to these studies, prolonged EMR exposure negatively affects dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and serotonin in that it lowers the secretion levels of these hormones.

Effects on the brain

EMR emitted by wireless headphones, cellphones, and other Bluetooth devices also adversely affects the central nervous system. Studies show that the metabolism of glucose in the brain exposed to EMR rapidly increases. 

This proved that the brain’s neurons are sensitive to the thermal effects emitted by EMR. Blood circulation tries to lower the heat increase, but prolonged exposure leads to a steady climb in heat levels and headaches.

Effects on blood pressure and sleep

Besides headaches, prolonged exposure to EMR from headphones can cause changes in sleep habits and blood pressure. In fact, elevated or lowered blood pressure and insomnia are two major reasons for unexplained headaches. 

Fluctuating blood pressure and sleep deprivation also cause memory loss and decreased learning capabilities. The EMR’s effect on the cranial system further affects learning capabilities, resulting in memory deficits and loss of attention.

Other effects of EMR on the overall body

General studies on the benefits and hazards of EMR have recorded multiple problems. Those problems are connected to the cardiovascular system, irritability, hearing and visual problems, depression, and lack of motivation. People living near FM towers, using cell phones or wireless headphones, have reported these problems when surveyed. 

These general studies also conclude that EMR has an exterminating effect on calcium ions within the body. Removing calcium ions from the body results in headaches, pain, and overall discomfort and is a reason for multiple diseases.

How to Minimize Headphone Radiation
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Other Reasons Why Headphones Are Causing a Headache

Besides the low-frequency radiation, there may also be other reasons why your headphones are causing you a headache. I will analyze some of them in the following sections.

Your headphones are too small and too tight

If you’re using small headphones that fit too tight on your head, that might cause a headache. 

Tight headphones cause pain and decrease normal blood flow on the exterior of the head. They may also put unnecessary pressure on your head muscles, leading to muscle cramps that automatically lead to pain and headaches.

Another reason may also be the shape of the headphone cups. If the cups are too small, they will put pressure on your ear shell, causing pain that may expand and turn into a headache. Remember that your headphones should always sit comfortably around your ears.

Wearing headphones for prolonged periods and at a high volume

Prolonged wearing of headphones and loud volume may result in a sudden and unpleasant headache. 

If you’re constantly wearing your headphones throughout the day, you will certainly experience discomfort. Added to this is the heat released from the EMR radiation. Even wearing the headphones for an hour can make you feel hot and cause a headache, so take as many breaks as possible.

High volume is a major reason for a headache and causes loss of hearing in the long run. Try to break the habit of turning the volume on your headphones too high, and take frequent breaks to avoid a headache. 

A good rule is to listen at 60% of the headphone’s maximum capacity for as long as 60 minutes before taking a break.

How to Minimize Headphone Radiation

Now that you will no longer be asking yourself why do headphones give me a headache, let me give you some additional tips. If you want to minimize headphone radiation and decrease the chances of them causing you a headache, then here’s my advice:

  • Attach a ferrite bead to your headphones – a ferrite bead will reduce the overall EMR of your headphones and may also reduce the humming sound they produce
  • Use air tube headphones – these headphones reduce the radiation levels because the sound is produced away from the ears and then transferred to the ears via empty tubes; this eliminates all kinds of radiation close to the head
  • Opt for wired instead of wireless headphones – wired headphones emit a significantly lower amount of EMR because they do not have to receive the signal wirelessly using electromagnetic waves; this makes them a safer and better option in the long run

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Scott Freeman

Scott Freeman is a seasoned expert in EMF protection with over 10 years of experience in the field. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master's in Environmental Science, Scott possesses a unique blend of technical and environmental knowledge. Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to researching, developing, and promoting effective EMF protection products that prioritize both safety and efficiency. Scott's passion for helping others make informed decisions has made him a sought-after speaker and writer on the subject of electromagnetic field safety.

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