DIY is all the rage these days and everybody appreciates a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, buy the suggested tools, and get 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 starts leaking again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.
It’s not always easy to admit that this is the situation. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep coming back to. It doesn’t really sound very 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.
What is ear candling?
Have you ever had a plugged-ear kind of feeling? Sometimes, it takes place when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other situations, it may happen because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have any number of causes). When this occurs, you may experience some discomfort. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It kind of stinks!
Some individuals, because of this, think that ear candling is just the cheap and novel fix they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). Individuals think that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the combination of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.
It should be immediately recognized that ear candling isn’t encouraged by healthcare professionals. If you’re searching for evidence that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t find any. Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advocate against ever utilizing this approach. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? Basically, don’t do it!)
The negative aspects of ear candling
At first, ear candling may feel completely safe. It’s a really small flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And individuals on the internet said it was safe! So, how can ear candling be harmful?
Ear candling can, unfortunately, be very dangerous and there’s no way to get around that! What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:
- You can severely burn your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. If the tip of the candle or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
- You can push that earwax 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 blockage, so too can pushing a specialized candle into 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 result.
- You could seriously burn your face: Look, any time you’re positioning 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.
- You may accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with inserting anything in your ears! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, creating substantial discomfort and damage to your hearing. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will need to get professional assistance.
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get left behind in your ears even if you don’t get burned. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the discomfort.
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 really dangerous!
So how should you eliminate earwax?
Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. Issues start when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax obstruction, the best thing to do may be consulting with a hearing specialist. Typically, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to run 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 damaging your ear.
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.
How to help your ears feel better
Schedule a consultation with us if you have surplus 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.