Louisville Family Audiology - Louisville, KY

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everyone loves an easy fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, buy the recommended tools, and get to work! A plumber would probably be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.

But that feeling only continues until your sink starts leaking again. Because, as it so happens, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-honed skills of a professional.

Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. And, to some extent, that’s why people will often continue to seek out “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which may help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It sounds… kind 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 from time to time. Sometimes, it takes place when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. Too much earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can occur for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It’s not fun!

Some people, as a result, believe 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 in your ear. Individuals think that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the mix of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t encourage this approach. Do ear candles really draw wax out? No. There’s positively no proof that ear candling is effective (especially not in the way that it’s supposed to work). In other words, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly recommend against ever utilizing this approach. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

The FDA also firmly advocates against this practice.

What are the disadvantages of ear candling?

Initially, ear candling may feel perfectly safe. It’s not as if it’s a huge flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And individuals on the internet claimed it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?

Ear candling can, regrettably, be very hazardous and there’s no way of getting around that! What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:

  • Your face could be seriously burned: Look, any time you’re positioning candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll burn yourself. Everybody has accidents once in a while. Severe burns on the face are not the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
  • The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually jam 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 result.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. Your ear is very sensitive and considerable burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • Your Eardrum could accidentally get pierced: There’s a risk that comes with inserting anything in your ears! You might accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing considerable discomfort and harm to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that must be addressed by a hearing professional.
  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: 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 uncomfortableness.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals advocate ear candling? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only useless, it’s utterly dangerous.

So how should you get rid of earwax?

Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. Problems begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?

If you have an earwax blockage, the best thing to do might be speaking with a hearing specialist. Normally, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to run out on its own. But they might also clean out your ear during your visit.

Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without harming 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 advised by your hearing specialist or physician.

Give your ears some relief

Schedule a consultation with us if you have excess earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. 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.
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