Some people experience discomfort after wearing headsets for a while. Naturally, this causes people to wonder whether or not wearing headphones can be harmful.
Due to the natural position of headphones, some people wonder whether or not headphones can cause TMJ Disorders. Before we answer that question, we want to state that we are not medical experts, we are headphone and sound experts. If you have medical issues you believe might come from extensive use of headphones, we urge you to see a doctor.
However, as promoters of headphones, we want to help you find the answer you are looking for. This is why we have written this article about the relation between TMJ disorders and using headphones.
Firstly, we will look at what TMJ disorders are, and then we will come with some useful advice you should listen to.
What Does TMJ Mean?
TMJ stands for temporomandibular Joint. The temporomandibular joint is a combination of the jawbone and the skull that allows for movement.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the TMJ acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw.
What Are The Common Causes for TMJ Disorders?
The exact cause of a person’s TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. Your pain may be due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis or jaw injury.
Some of the most common causes for TMJ disorders are:
- Stress. When you feel stress, your jaw muscles may contract or tighten up. When that happens, it can cause joint dysfunction and pain.
- Teeth clenching or grinding. Unfortunately, a lot of people have problems with their teeth when they sleep because they grind them. This is known as bruxism.
- Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or stroke. When other parts of your body are damaged, they can affect the temporomandibular joint.
All of these issues can cause pain and possibly difficulty opening your mouth. It may be a TMJ disorder if you experience any problems with your jaw joint or jaw muscles.
How Can Headphones Cause TMJ Disorders?
Unfortunately, headphones and other earbuds are one of the causes of TMJ disorders. That is because they can put pressure on your ears and cause you to clench your jaw muscles unconsciously. This happens because if you don’t clamp your jaw shut, the noise will get to you.
Since earbuds go inside your ear canal, there are two possible ways for them to cause TMJ disorders. Firstly, headphones or earbuds can put pressure on your ears and make it difficult for you to open your mouth fully. One symptom of this is clenching your teeth while sleeping.
Secondly, headphones and earbuds can pressure your ears and cause you to clench your jaw muscles unconsciously. This leads to a TMJ disorder over time.
Wearing headsets for a long period of time can cause damage if you listen to music really loud. If you are worried about the harm caused by using headphones, we have some advice for you.
Buy Higher Quality Headphones
The better quality headphones have, the more work has gone into making them fit your head perfectly. Headphones should not cause any pressure on your head, ears or your TMJ, making high-quality headphones a good solution to this problem.
Being headphone experts, we know for a fact that you can get high-quality headphones for under $400.
Use Your Headphones Wisely
It is important to know how to use your listening devices properly. Here are a few things you should do:
Be mindful of where you place the headphone jack when putting in and taking out your headphones, especially if you have a smartphone case with a built-in card slot. Always keep an eye on where you place your ears when using a headset, especially if the headset has an earbud that rests on or around your ear. Don’t use headphones while you are lying flat on your back or side. Use headphones when exercising; make sure not to put excessive pressure on them, though.
Don’t Turn The Volume To Max.
It is important to remember that listening to music at a high volume can damage your ears and TMJ whenever you are using headphones. Over time, this can lead to hearing loss and an increased risk of ear infections. At the same time, the higher you turn up the volume on your headset or earbuds you will put on, the more pressure on your ears and jaw.
We recommend checking out the Mayo Clinic for more information about TMJ disorders.