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Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody appreciates a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the ideal plumbing tutorial, go get the recommended tools, and go to work! A plumber would most likely be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it on your own.

At least, until your sink begins to leak again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-honed skills of a professional.

Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. And, in part, that’s why people will often continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which may help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very appealing, does it? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.

Ear candling – what is it?

Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear now and then. On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can happen for various reasons. When this takes place, you might experience some discomfort. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It kind of stinks!

This means that some individuals believe they have encountered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The concept is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Individuals believe that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the combination of heat and pressure changes in your ear.

Healthcare professionals definitely don’t encourage this practice. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling actually works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will emphatically advocate against utilizing this practice ever. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.

The FDA also firmly advises against this approach.

What are the downsides of ear candling?

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

Sadly, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:

  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. Your ear is extremely sensitive and significant burning can happen if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • Your Eardrum might accidentally get punctured: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You might accidentally puncture your eardrum, creating significant discomfort and harm to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that has to be treated by a hearing professional.
  • 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 blockage, so too can sticking a specialized candle in your ear. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the result.
  • Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. This Leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
  • You could seriously burn your face: Look, any time you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll get a burn. 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, do hearing healthcare professionals recommend ear candling? No… not even a little! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually quite dangerous!

So how should you clear away earwax?

Ear wax is usually rather healthy. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining properly) that you start to have issues. 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 talking to a hearing specialist. Usually, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to drip out on its own. But they may also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that let them remove wax without injuring 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 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 accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by removing 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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