Everyone loves an easy fix, particularly when the solution is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. It may take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the gratification you feel, right?
At least, until your sink begins leaking again. Because, as it so happens, sometimes a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.
It isn’t always easy to admit that this is the situation. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep going back to. It sounds… sort of gross, doesn’t it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.
Ear candling – what is it?
Everybody has had the feeling of a stuffy ear from time to time. Occasionally, it occurs when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. An excessive amount of earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It kind of stinks!
Some individuals, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel fix they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed into your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow design 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 advocated by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles really pull wax out? No. There’s absolutely no evidence that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically advise against ever using this approach. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? Essentially, don’t do it!)
The drawbacks of ear candling
At first, ear candling might seem perfectly safe. It’s a really small flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And individuals on the internet claimed it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be quite hazardous and there’s no way to get around that! What negative impacts can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:
- 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 serious discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
- The earwax can be pushed 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 issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! This can lead to all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
- You can severely burn your ear: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. Your ear is very sensitive and substantial burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
- Your Eardrum might accidentally get pierced: There’s a risk that comes with sticking anything in your ears! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, causing substantial discomfort and harm to your hearing. Often, this is something that must 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 by your ear, you could burn your face. Accidents will happen! Serious burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
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 quite dangerous!
A better way to Tackle earwax
Ear wax is normally rather healthy. In normal quantities, it’s good for your ears. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining well) that you start to have difficulty. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to remove earwax, what should you do?
Consult a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax blockage. They may suggest some at-home solutions (including using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of run out by itself). But in some situations, they will perform a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that allow them to remove wax without damaging your ear.
In general, you should avoid techniques such as utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good plan to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
How to help your ears feel better
Schedule a consultation with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We will be capable of helping you clear any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.