Everyone loves a quick fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, buy the suggested tools, and go to work! 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 to leak again. Because, as it so happens, sometimes a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-honed skills of a professional.
It isn’t always easy to acknowledge that this is the situation. And, to some extent, that’s why individuals will often continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound that pleasing, 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?
Everyone has had the feeling of a plugged ear now and then. Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. In other instances, it might occur because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You may even experience a temporary loss of hearing. It kind of stinks!
Some people, as a result, believe that ear candling is just the cheap and novel fix they need. The concept is that a special hollow candle is put into your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow style of the candle changes the air pressure within your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.
It should be immediately noted that ear candling is not encouraged by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles really draw wax out? No. There’s positively no evidence that ear candling is effective (particularly not in the way that it’s supposed to work). In other words, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly recommend against ever using this practice. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
The FDA also firmly advocates against this practice.
What are the drawbacks of ear candling?
Initially, ear candling may seem perfectly safe. 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 could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?
Sadly, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What negative impacts can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially 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. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
- You can jam that earwax 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 obstruction, so too can inserting 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 be severely burned: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. Your ear is extremely sensitive and significant burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
- Your Eardrum may accidentally get pierced: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer considerable damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this takes place it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
- 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 burn yourself. Accidents will happen! It’s all too easy for candle wax to drip into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to become severely burned.
So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only useless, it’s utterly dangerous.
A better way to deal with earwax
Ear wax is typically pretty healthy. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining well) that you start to have issues. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad idea?
Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. They may recommend some at-home solutions (such as using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of slide out by itself). But in some situations, they will do a cleaning for you.
We can remove the wax safely with specialized tools and training.
It’s best to avoid things like ear candles and cotton swabs. 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 accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We will be able to help you remove any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.