Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everyone loves an easy fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn to fix that from a YouTube video. It might take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no substitute for the satisfaction you feel, right?

At least, until your sink begins leaking again. Because, as it so happens, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-honed skills of a professional.

It’s not always easy to acknowledge that this is the case. And, to some extent, that’s why individuals will frequently continue to seek out “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 that appealing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.

What is ear candling?

Everybody has had the feeling of a stuffy ear from time to time. Occasionally, it happens when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other situations, it may occur because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have a variety of causes). When this happens, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It’s no fun!

Some people, as a result, think that ear candling is just the cheap and novel fix they need. The concept is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle inside of your ear. Somehow, the combination of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure within your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t recommend this practice. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s positively no evidence that ear candling works (particularly not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Nearly 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.)

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

What are the downsides of ear candling?

At first, ear candling may seem completely safe. It’s just a tiny flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And people on the internet claimed it was safe! So, how can ear candling be dangerous?

Sadly, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What negative impacts can ear candling have? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:

  • Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: The candle wax can get left behind in your ears even if you don’t get burned. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the discomfort.
  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. If the tip of the candle 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 spot).
  • The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: In much the same way that pushing a Q-tip in your ear can smoosh the earwax into an ever-more-dense blockage, so too can inserting a specialized candle into your ear. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
  • Your Eardrum could accidentally get punctured: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating considerable discomfort and damage to your hearing. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
  • Your face could be severely burned: There’s always a fairly good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you could burn your face. Everyone has accidents once in a while. 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 seriously burned.

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

A better way to handle earwax

Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s good for your ears. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you begin to have problems. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad strategy?

If you have an earwax blockage, the best thing to do might be speaking with a hearing specialist. They may suggest some at-home remedies (like using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to sort of slide out by itself). But in some instances, they will do a cleaning for you.

Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that let them remove wax without harming your ear.

In general, you should avoid techniques like using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or doctor.

How to help your ears feel better

Schedule an appointment with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. 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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