The Truth About Ear Candling

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Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage these days and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and go to work! A plumber would probably be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it on your own.

At least, until your sink starts leaking again. Because, as it turns out, in some cases a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-honed skills of a professional.

It isn’t always easy to admit that this is the case. And, to some extent, that’s why people will frequently continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which might help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It sounds… sort of gross, doesn’t it? Let’s dive into just what earwax candling is and its dangers.

What is ear candling?

Everyone has had the feeling of a stuffy ear now and then. Sometimes, it takes place when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other cases, it may occur because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. You might even notice a temporary loss of hearing. It sort of stinks!

Some individuals, as a result, believe that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel fix they need. The concept is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t encourage this practice. If you’re looking for proof that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t find any. Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against using this technique ever. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? Basically, don’t do it!)

The negative aspects of ear candling

At first, ear candling might feel completely safe. It’s a really small 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 really hazardous and there’s no way to get around that! What negative impacts can ear candling have? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:

  • You might accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a risk that comes with inserting anything in your ears! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, creating substantial discomfort and damage to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that needs to be addressed by a hearing professional.
  • You could severely burn your face: There’s always a fairly good chance that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you could burn your face. Accidents will happen! It’s all too easy for candle wax to drip into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to get severely burned.
  • You can jam that earwax even further up into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually push earwax further into the ear canal much like when you use a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax problem worse! This can result in all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
  • Your ear can have surplus candle wax left behind: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. This leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are quite hot. If the candle tips or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).

So, do hearing healthcare professionals recommend ear candling? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only useless, it’s downright dangerous.

So how should you clear away earwax?

Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining properly) that you begin to have problems. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to remove earwax, what should you do?

Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. Typically, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to run out on its own. But in some cases, they will perform a cleaning for you.

Hearing specialists have special tools and training that let them clean out wax without damaging your ear.

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

Give your ears some relief

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

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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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