What You Should Know About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everyone loves an easy fix, especially when the solution is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. 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 by yourself.

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

Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound that appealing, does it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.

Ear candling – what is it?

Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. In other situations, it might happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have any number of causes). This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It’s no fun!

This means that some individuals think they have found what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed into your ear (non-burning end). People believe that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the combination of heat and pressure changes in your ear.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t encourage this technique. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s positively no proof that ear candling works (particularly not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically recommend against ever utilizing this practice. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

The FDA also strongly advises against this practice.

The negative aspects of ear candling

Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s a really small flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are a lot of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So, how can ear candling be harmful?

Ear candling can, regrettably, be quite hazardous and there’s no way to get around that! What are the side effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:

  • You could seriously burn your face: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll burn yourself. Accidents will happen! Serious burns on the face are not the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
  • Your Eardrum may accidentally get pierced: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer substantial damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Frequently, this is something that has to be addressed by a hearing professional.
  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. Your ear is extremely sensitive and significant burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
  • Your ear can have surplus candle wax left behind: The candle wax can get left behind in your ears even if you don’t get burned. This Leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
  • The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can pack the earwax into an ever-more-dense obstruction, so too can sticking a specialized candle into your ear. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! This can cause all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals endorse ear candling? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just useless, it’s downright dangerous.

A better way to manage earwax

Ear wax is normally rather healthy. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. Issues start when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if making use of a candle is a bad idea?

If you have an earwax obstruction, the best thing to do might be talking to a hearing specialist. They might advise some at-home remedies (including using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of run out by itself). But in some cases, they will perform a cleaning for you.

Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to remove wax without harming your ear.

In general, you should avoid techniques like utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. 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 a consultation with us if you have excess earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We can help you get back to normal by clearing away any stubborn earwax.


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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