We had gone to the doctor because of what we thought was an ear infection. Turns out the wax build up had caused a blockage and was what was causing the discomfort and diminished hearing. As soon as the doctor finished the ear exam and treatment he asked us to stop using earbuds as frequently.
Earbuds in themselves are not harmful, but if you are using them every day for prolonged periods and/or have small ear canals, wax build up is quick to accrue. Earbuds are not the sole culprit, just the main one since anything that is placed in your ear can push wax deeper in the ear and this includes cotton swabs, but people generally don't walk around with cotton swabs in their ears for hours.
If this is happening to you, do see your doctor. While there are some at home remedies, it is best to see a physician and have them take care of the build up and blockage. For more information about wax build up, blockage, and treatment, see this helpful article from the Mayo Clinic.
Not sure what on the ear or over the ear headphones are a good option to put in rotation with your earbuds? Check out these helpful headphone reviews from our archives:
- Bowers & Wilkins P5 Mobile Hi-Fi
- Nokia HB-905i Bluetooth Headphones
- Sennheiser RS 170 Wireless Headphones
(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)