Can Headphones Dent Your Head? – Get The Facts

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Last updatedLast updated: March 11, 2024
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Do you ever wonder if wearing headphones can dent your head? You may have heard stories about people getting permanent dents or bumps on their heads from wearing headphones for too long.

But is there any truth to this?

The answer is no, and headphones cannot dent your head.

Your skull is made of strong bones that protect your brain, and wearing headphones does not put enough pressure on your head to cause permanent changes.

However, taking breaks from wearing headphones is essential to avoid discomfort or headaches. Let’s discuss the mattress further and see if headphones have anything to do with denting skulls.

The Anatomy of the Human Skull

The human skull comprises bones that protect your brain and support your facial features.

Understanding the anatomy of the skull is vital for understanding how it functions and how it can be affected by injuries or diseases.

Your skull is the bony structure that protects your brain and supports your face. The skull is composed of different types of bones, each with its unique functions.

Human Skull Structure

The human skull has two main parts: the cranium and the face. The cranium is the rounded part of the skull that protects your brain, while the face contains the bones that support your facial features.


The cranium has eight bones fused to form a solid, protective structure. These bones include the parietal, frontal, temporal, occipital, ethmoid, and sphenoid.

The frontal bone forms the forehead and the upper part of the eye sockets, while the parietal bones make up the cranium’s sides and top. The occipital bone is the skull’s back, and the temporal bones are located on the sides and base of the skull.

The sphenoid bone is located in the middle of the skull and helps to support the brain’s weight. Finally, the ethmoid bone is located between the eyes and helps to form the nasal cavity.


The face comprises fourteen bones that support your facial features and allow you to chew and speak. These bones include the maxilla, mandible, nasal, lacrimal, palatine, zygomatic, and vomer.

The maxilla forms the upper jaw and supports your upper teeth, while the mandible forms the lower jaw and supports your lower teeth. The nasal bones form the bridge of the nose, while the lacrimal bones form part of the eye sockets.

The palatine bones form the roof of the mouth, while the zygomatic bones form the cheekbones. Finally, the vomer is a small bone located in the nasal cavity.

wearing headphonesHow Headphones Fit on Head?

When it comes to headphones, the fit of your head is an important consideration. Different types of headphone designs offer different levels of comfort and sound quality. Here’s what you need to know about how headphones fit on your head.

Over-Ear Headphones

Over-ear headphones are designed to cover your ears completely. They typically have a padded headband resting on the top of your head and large ear cups surrounding your ears.

This design can provide a comfortable fit and help to block out external noise. However, the pressure from the ear cups can create discomfort over time.

On-Ear Headphones

On-ear headphones sit on top of your ears rather than completely covering them. They usually have a padded headband on the top of your head and small ear cups outside your ears.

Such a design can provide a comfortable fit and good sound quality, but the pressure from the ear cups can create discomfort over time.

In-Ear Headphones

In-ear headphones are small earbuds that fit inside your ear canal. They usually come with different sizes of ear tips to ensure a snug fit.

This design can provide good sound quality and a comfortable fit, but some people may experience discomfort or ear fatigue from wearing them for long periods.

The Headphone Pressure Points

No matter which type of headphones you choose, they can create pressure points on your skull. It is because headphones apply pressure to specific areas of your head, such as the top, behind your ears, and on the sides of your head.

This pressure can cause discomfort, headaches, and even temporary dents in your skull. To avoid pain and pressure points from headphones, it’s important to take breaks from wearing them and to adjust the fit as needed.

Ensure the headband is tight and the ear cups or tips are not pressing too hard on your ears. You can enjoy your music without discomfort or pain by choosing headphones with a comfortable fit and taking breaks when needed.

Can Headphones Cause Dents in the Head?

Can headphones cause dents in the head? It’s a question that has been circulating online for years. Some people claim that wearing headphones for long periods can cause a dent in the skull. Whereas others argue that this is just a myth.

Scientific Studies

Several scientific studies have been conducted on this topic. In 2016, a study was published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery that examined the effects of headphones on the skull. 

The study found that wearing headphones for a prolonged time can cause pressure on the skin and soft tissues of the scalp. However, another study found that a weight of 135 kilos can fracture a bone in your skull.

Medical Opinions

Medical professionals have also weighed in on this topic.

  • According to Dr. Douglas Backous, an ear, nose, and throat specialist, the pressure from headphones can cause discomfort and pain, but it is unlikely to cause a permanent dent in the skull.
  • Backous explains that the skull is a tough structure, and it would take significant force to cause a dent.
  • Anh Nguyen, a plastic surgeon, also agrees that headphones are unlikely to cause a permanent dent in the skull. She explains that the skull comprises several bones tightly fused, and it would take a lot of force to cause a permanent change in shape.

Different Medical Conditions

There are various medical conditions as well that can cause dents on your head. These conditions might be the real reasons behind any dents in the head.

Congenital Skull Indentation

Some people are born with congenital skull indentation, where some of their skulls may be slightly dented. This condition is not related to headphone use and does not cause any significant harm to the individual’s health.

Paget’s Disease

Paget’s disease is a rare condition that causes bones to grow larger and weaker. In some cases, this can cause deformities in the skull, leading to dents or indentations.

Headphone use is not a direct cause of Paget’s disease. Taking care of your bones and overall health is essential to prevent the disease from progressing.

Gorham’s Disease

Gorham’s disease is another rare condition that causes bones to become weaker and thinner, leading to deformities in the skull and other bones in the body.

While headphone use is not a direct cause of Gorham’s disease, it’s crucial to prioritize your bone health and seek medical attention if you experience any unusual symptoms.

Bone Cancer

Bone cancer is a rare but serious condition that can affect any bone in the body, including the skull. Headphone use is not a direct cause of bone cancer.

But prioritizing your overall health and seeking medical attention if you experience any unusual symptoms, such as persistent headaches or bone pain, is important. Early detection and treatment are crucial for a successful recovery.

Tips for Comfortable and Safe Headphone Use

Headphones are a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, whether it’s for listening to music, taking phone calls, or watching videos. However, prolonged use of headphones can lead to discomfort or even hearing damage.

Here are some tips for comfortable and safe headphone use.

Choose the Right Fit

When selecting headphones, it’s important to choose the right fit. Headphones that are too tight or loose can cause discomfort and pressure on the skull. Look for headphones with adjustable headbands or ear cups that can be customized to your head shape and size.

Consider the Style

There are many different styles of headphones available. These include in-ear, over-ear, and on-ear. We have discussed the different styles of these headphones and their pros and cons in the text above.

Check the Padding

Headphones with cushioned ear cups or headbands are more comfortable for long-term use. Look for headphones with soft, breathable materials like memory foam or leatherette that provide cushioning without causing excess heat buildup.

Check the Weight

Heavy headphones can cause strain on the neck and shoulders. Look for headphones that are lightweight and comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Safe Listening Practices to Avoid Damage to the Ears & Head

Here are some safe listening practices that you can use to provide any damage to your hearing or your head.

Limit Listening Time

Extended use of headphones can cause hearing damage, so it’s important to limit your listening time. Experts recommend limiting headphone use to no more than 60 minutes and taking a break for at least 5 minutes before resuming use.

Keep the Volume in Check

Listening to music at a high volume can cause permanent hearing damage. To avoid this, keep the volume at 60% of the maximum volume or lower. You can use noise-canceling headphones to block out background noise, which can help reduce the need for high volumes.

Choose the Right Headphones:

Choosing headphones that are comfortable to wear and don’t cause undue pressure on your head is essential. Look for headphones with cushioned ear cups and headbands that fit your head shape and size.

Take Breaks

It’s important to take breaks when using headphones for an extended period. Experts recommend taking a 5-minute break every hour to allow your ears to rest and recover.

Be Aware of Background Noise

When listening to music or watching videos on headphones, it’s easy to get lost in the sound and unaware of your surroundings. This can be dangerous, especially when walking or driving. Always be aware of your surroundings and use headphones in a safe environment.

Use Headphones With A Built-In Limiter

Some headphones have a built-in limiter that automatically reduces the volume to a safe level. This can be a useful feature if you’re worried about accidentally turning the volume up too high.

Keep Your Headphones Clean

Keeping your headphones clean is crucial to avoid damaging the head or ears. A dirty headphone can lead to an ear infection, which can be very painful and dangerous.

Wear Your Headphones Properly

Wearing your headphones properly can help avoid any damage to your head. Don’t put your headphones on too tightly, as this can cause pressure on your skull. Always adjust your headphones to fit your head shape and size.

Stretch and Exercise

Stretching and exercising regularly can help prevent damage to your head and neck muscles caused by prolonged headphone use. Taking a few minutes to stretch your neck, shoulders, and upper back can help relieve tension and reduce the risk of headaches and neck pain.

Final Thoughts

So, can headphones cause dents in the head? While limited scientific evidence supports this claim, taking precautions to avoid discomfort and pain when wearing headphones is essential.

Choose headphones that fit well and take breaks to avoid pressure points. Be mindful of the volume and take steps to protect your hearing. While a dent in the skull may be unlikely, it’s always better to stay cautious regarding your health.

Remember, headphones are a great tool for enjoying music, podcasts, or audiobooks, but they can cause discomfort and even damage if used for prolonged periods. Using headphones can be a comfortable and enjoyable experience, but using them safely is important.

Choose headphones that fit well and don’t cause undue pressure on the skull, and practice safe listening habits to avoid hearing damage. Following these tips, you can enjoy your music and media without compromising your hearing health.

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