Audiology & Hearing Care of SWFL - Bonita Springs, FL

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everybody loves a quick fix, especially when the solution is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn to fix that from a YouTube video. A plumber would most likely be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it on your own.

But that feeling only continues until your sink begins leaking again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be effectively substituted for a quick fix.

It isn’t always easy to acknowledge that this is the case. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep coming back to. It doesn’t really sound that pleasing, does it? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.

What is ear candling?

Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? In some cases, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. Too much earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can occur for various reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You might even notice a temporary loss of hearing. It kind of stinks!

As a result, some people believe they have found 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. Individuals imagine that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the blend of heat and pressure changes in your ear.

Healthcare professionals definitely don’t recommend this approach. If you’re looking for proof that ear candling actually works and pulls out wax, you won’t find any. Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against using 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?

Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s not as if it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And people on the internet said it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?

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

  • Your ear can have surplus candle wax left behind: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. This leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
  • The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: In much the same way that pushing a Q-tip in your ear can pack the earwax into an ever-more-dense obstruction, so too can sticking a specialized candle in your ear. 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 ear can be severely burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are really hot. Your ear is really sensitive and substantial burning can happen if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
  • Your Eardrum might accidentally get punctured: There’s a danger that comes with pushing anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer substantial harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will need to get professional assistance.
  • You could severely burn your face: There’s always a pretty good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you might 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 become seriously burned.

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

So how should you clear away earwax?

Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. Issues begin when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to remove earwax, what should you do?

If you have an earwax obstruction, the most beneficial thing to do may be talking to a hearing specialist. They might advise some at-home alternatives (such as using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to kind of run out by itself). But they might also clean out your ear during your visit.

We can eliminate the wax safely with specialty tools and training.

It’s best to steer clear of things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good policy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.

Give your ears some relief

Schedule an appointment with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by eliminating 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.