The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everyone loves a quick fix, particularly when the solution is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, buy the recommended tools, and get to work! A plumber would most likely 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 lasts until your sink begins leaking again. Because, as it so happens, in some cases a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.

Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. And, in part, that’s why people will frequently continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which might help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It sounds… sort of gross, doesn’t it? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.

Ear candling – what is it?

Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear now and then. Occasionally, it takes place when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can occur for a variety of reasons. When this happens, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!

Some individuals, as a result, think that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel fix they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is put into your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow style of the candle changes the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t encourage this practice. If you’re searching for evidence that ear candling really 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 technique ever. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? Essentially, don’t do it!)

The drawbacks of ear candling

Ear candling may feel safe, at first. It’s not like it’s a giant flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And individuals on the internet said it was safe! So, how can ear candling be harmful?

Sadly, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just a few of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:

  • You could accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with sticking anything in your ears! You may 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: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can go into your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
  • You can push that earwax even further up 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 pushing a specialized candle in your ear. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. Your ear is extremely sensitive and substantial burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • You could severely burn your face: Look, any time you’re positioning candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll burn yourself. Everyone has accidents once in a while. It’s all too easy for candle wax to trickle into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to become severely burned.

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

So how should you remove earwax?

Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal amounts, 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 get rid of earwax, what should you do?

If you have an earwax blockage, the most beneficial thing to do might be speaking with a hearing specialist. They might recommend some at-home remedies (including using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to sort of slide out by itself). But they might also clean out your ear during your visit.

Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without injuring your ear.

It’s best to steer clear of things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or doctor.

How to help your ears feel better

If surplus earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or distress, you should make an appointment with us. We will be able to help you remove any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.


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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