Can noise cancelling headphones cause headaches?

Noise cancelling headphones are a type of headphone that automatically cancels out unwanted background noise. This can help you to focus on what you want to focus on.

The noise cancelling headphones are designed to reduce background noise without disrupting your listening experience.

The headphones can also be used to help you to concentrate and focus on what you’re listening to.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that you should use the headphones all the time.

Noise cancelling headphones aren’t a replacement for good hearing aids or other assistive listening devices.

What the research says?

There are a number of studies that have looked into the relationship between noise cancelling headphone use and headaches.

Some of these studies have found a link between headphone use and headaches.

However, other studies have found that the relationship between the headphones and headaches may be limited to certain people.

For example, people with high levels of anxiety may find that noise cancelling headphones cause headaches.

Keep in mind that it’s important to consider a person’s individual experience.

Headache vs. migraine

There is some overlap between the symptoms of headaches and migraines.

For example, both types of headaches can cause:

  • Pain in the back of the head
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Pain in the shoulders and neck
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting

However, migraine and headache symptoms are different.

Migraines have a distinctive pattern. They often:

  • Start in one specific area
  • Affect only one side of the head
  • Last from 4 to 72 hours
  • May be triggered by certain activities

Headaches do not have such a pattern. They can also affect both sides of the head. They can last from 1 to 72 hours.

They can also be triggered by certain activities like:

  • Loud noises
  • Stress

However, both types of headaches can also have other causes.

For example, some people may have headaches due to:

  • An underlying health condition
  • A side effect of certain medications
  • Certain food or lifestyle habits

Some people may also experience more than one type of headache.

If you experience headaches often or for longer than 1 week, it’s important to see your doctor.

If you’re experiencing headaches often, or for more than 1 week, you should seek medical advice.

What if you already have a headache?

There may be a link between headphone use and headaches.

In some cases, headphone use can cause headaches.

If you already have a headache, you may be more likely to experience a headache after using a noise cancelling headphone.

However, this doesn’t mean that headphone use causes headaches in everyone.

If you already have a headache, it’s important to discuss the potential link between headphone use and headaches with your doctor.

How to use noise cancelling headphones safely?

When using headphones to listen to music, it’s important to be careful not to create too much sound.

For example, you should avoid listening to music while driving.

You should also try to minimize the number of times you listen to music.

If you want to listen to music more than once or twice a day, you should speak to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk of developing a headache.

You should also be careful not to play music while you sleep.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, speak to your doctor about ways to help you to relax and sleep well.

If you regularly experience headaches, speak to your doctor about ways to help you to manage your headaches.

If you’re using noise-cancelling headphones, make sure to:

  • Turn the volume down to the lowest setting
  • Not wear headphones while driving
  • Not play music for more than a few hours at a time
  • Not listen to music for more than a few days at a time
  • Not sleep with music playing

If you want to use noise-cancelling headphones, you may be able to reduce the amount of background noise they produce.

For example, you may be able to:

  • Turn off the sound on your phone
  • Turn off the sound on your computer
  • Use headphones that aren’t as sensitive to background noise

You can ask your doctor about the best way to use noise-cancelling headphones.

When to see a doctor?

It’s important to see a doctor if you regularly experience headaches.

Hearing loss can be a symptom of other health conditions. So, it’s important to talk to your doctor if you frequently experience:

  • Headaches that last for more than a week
  • Headaches that affect a large part of your head
  • Headaches that start suddenly

Your doctor can help you to treat any underlying conditions and develop a plan to manage your headaches.

Take our free headache quiz and find out what you can do about your headaches.

If your headaches affect your ability to work or do everyday activities, they may be a symptom of a more serious health condition.

Take our free quiz now to find out if you may have a hearing or balance issue, a muscle or joint disease, or another health condition that could be causing your headaches.

Take a look at our guide to headaches, including causes, symptoms, and treatment.

What is the long-term outlook?

Hearing loss can be a symptom of serious health conditions. So, it’s important to see your doctor if you regularly experience:

  • Headaches that last for more than a few days
  • Headaches that have a large impact on your life
  • Headaches that affect your ability to work or do daily activities

There are many things you can do to help you manage your symptoms, including:

  • Making changes to your lifestyle
  • Taking medication
  • Having a hearing test
  • Seeing a doctor for any underlying health conditions

What is the best noise cancelling headphones?

The best noise-cancelling headphones will depend on your needs. However, you may want to consider:

  • The level of noise you want to cancel out
  • Your budget
  • How loud the music is

Some people may prefer headphones with a remote. Others may prefer a non-removable device.

If you’re not sure which is best for you, speak to your doctor. You may also want to look at:

  • Headphone options
  • Accessories
  • How to use the headphones

If you already have a hearing loss, you may be able to have your hearing tested.

If you’re worried about the impact of noise on your health, speak to your doctor. They can help you to find a balance between the benefits of listening to music and the risks of headphone use.

What are the alternatives?

If you want to use a device that does not cancel out background noise, you can:

  • Use headphones with a built-in noise-cancelling feature
  • Use headphones that have a mute button
  • Wear headphones that don’t make a loud noise

If you want a headset that doesn’t make a loud noise, you may want to consider:

  • Having your hearing tested
  • Using headphones that don’t cause a lot of noise

If you have a hearing loss, speak to your doctor about the best way to manage your symptoms.

How to manage your noise-cancelling headphones?

If you regularly experience headaches or other symptoms of hearing loss, you may want to speak to your doctor.

They can help you:

  • Find a balance between the benefits of listening to music and the risks of headphone use
  • Manage any underlying health issues that may be causing your symptoms

It’s important to speak to your doctor if you regularly experience headaches.

The bottom line

If you use headphones to listen to music, it’s important to try to limit the amount of background noise you’re listening to.

If you get headaches after using noise cancelling headphones, you may be more likely to experience headaches.

Headaches can affect both sides of the head, and they often last for longer than 1 day.

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