How To Stop Ears Hurting When Running

As someone who loves running, I have experienced my fair share of discomfort while out on a jog. One common issue that many runners, including myself, face is ear pain. It can be quite frustrating and distracting, but fear not! I have done some research and experimented with various methods to find ways to prevent and alleviate ear pain while running. In this article, I will share some tips and tricks that have worked for me, and hopefully, they will work for you too!

Why Do Ears Hurt When Running?

Before we delve into the solutions, let’s understand why ears can hurt during a run. When we run or engage in any physical exercise, our body adjusts to increase blood flow to our muscles. This increased blood flow can also cause the blood vessels in our ears to expand, leading to discomfort or even pain. Additionally, the repeated impact of our feet hitting the ground can also create vibrations that travel up to our ears, further exacerbating the problem. Now that we know the reasons behind ear pain, let’s move on to the solutions.

1. Properly Fitting Headphones or Earbuds

If you enjoy listening to music while running, using poorly fitting headphones or earbuds can contribute to ear pain. When the fit is not right, they can exert pressure on the sensitive areas of the ear, leading to discomfort. To prevent this, opt for headphones or earbuds specifically designed for sports activities. Look for models that have adjustable ear hooks or ear tips that create a secure and comfortable fit. Investing in a good pair of sports headphones can make a significant difference in preventing ear pain while running.

2. Wear a Headband or Hat

Another effective method to prevent ear pain during a run is to wear a headband or hat that covers your ears. These accessories not only provide warmth and protection from the elements but also help to reduce the impact of vibrations reaching your ears. Choose a headband or hat made from moisture-wicking fabric to keep sweat away from your skin and prevent any additional discomfort.

3. Earplugs or Earmuffs

If you find that your ears are particularly sensitive to the vibrations or wind while running, try wearing earplugs or earmuffs. These can help to block out some of the external stimuli and reduce the strain on your ears. Make sure to choose earplugs or earmuffs designed for sports activities, as they will be more comfortable and allow for better airflow to prevent excess moisture buildup.

4. Loosen Your Running Cap or Visor

If you typically wear a running cap or visor, ensure that it is not too tight or putting unnecessary pressure on your ears. Loosening the cap or visor will allow for better airflow and minimize any discomfort caused by constriction. Don’t underestimate the little adjustments that can make a big difference in preventing ear pain during your runs.

5. Manage Your Pace and Breathing

Believe it or not, the way you run and breathe can also affect the strain on your ears. When we push ourselves too hard or breathe heavily, it can create tension in our bodies, including our ears. Try to find a comfortable pace that allows you to regulate your breathing. Focus on taking deep, even breaths through your nose and mouth, rather than shallow and rapid breaths. This can help to reduce overall tension in your body, including your ears.


Dealing with ear pain while running can be a real challenge, but it’s not an insurmountable one. By following these tips and making small adjustments, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate ear pain during your runs. Remember to try different methods and see what works best for you. Happy running!