Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage these days and everyone likes a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, buy the suggested tools, and go to work! It might take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the gratification you feel, right?

But that feeling only lasts until your sink starts to leak again. Because, as it so happens, sometimes a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.

Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. And, in part, that’s why individuals will frequently continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very appealing, does it? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.

What is ear candling?

Have you ever had a stuffy-ear kind of feeling? Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. In other situations, it might occur because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It’s not fun!

As a result, some people think they have encountered what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The concept is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle inside of your ear. Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow style of the candle changes the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

It should be immediately recognized that ear candling isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals. If you’re searching for proof that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against utilizing this technique ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

The FDA also firmly advises against this practice.

The negative aspects of ear candling

Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s just a tiny flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And people on the internet said it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?

Ear candling can, unfortunately, be quite dangerous and there’s no way to get around that! What are the negative effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:

  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. This leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. If the candle tips or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some substantial burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).
  • You can push that earwax even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually push earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax problem worse! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
  • Your face could be seriously burned: There’s always a pretty good chance that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you might burn your face. Accidents will happen! Severe burns on the face are not the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
  • You might accidentally pierce your eardrum: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer substantial damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Frequently, this is something that must be addressed by a hearing professional.

So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually really dangerous!

So how should you eliminate earwax?

Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. Problems start when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad idea?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. Usually, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to drip out by itself. But they might also clean out your ear during your visit.

Hearing specialists have special tools and training that let them remove wax without injuring your ear.

Generally, you should stay away from techniques such as using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or physician.

Give your ears some relief

If surplus earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or distress, you should make an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by clearing away any stubborn earwax.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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