DIY is all the rage these days and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn to fix that from a YouTube video. A plumber would probably be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.
But that feeling only continues until your sink starts leaking again. That’s because sometimes the skill and experience of a professional can’t be effectively substituted for a quick fix.
Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep going back to. It sounds… kind of gross, right? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.
Ear candling – what is it?
Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? Sometimes, it happens when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other instances, it might happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have any number of causes). When this happens, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. You might even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!
Some people, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel fix they need. The concept is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle inside of your ear. Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow design of the candle changes the air pressure within your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.
It should be quickly mentioned that ear candling is not recommended by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles really draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling is effective (especially not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against utilizing this practice ever. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.
The FDA also strongly advocates against this practice.
What are the downsides of ear candling?
At first, ear candling may seem completely safe. It’s just a tiny flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And there are plenty of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?
Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What are the side effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:
- Your ear can be seriously burned: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. If the tip of the candle or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some considerable burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).
- Your face could be severely burned: Look, any time you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll get a burn. Everybody has accidents once in a while. Severe burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
- Your Eardrum could accidentally get pierced: There’s a risk that comes with pushing anything in your ears! You might accidentally puncture your eardrum, causing significant discomfort and harm to your hearing. Often, this is something that has to be treated by a hearing professional.
- Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. This Leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
- The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: In much the same way that pushing a Q-tip in your ear can smoosh the earwax into an ever-more-dense obstruction, so too can pushing a specialized candle into your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can trigger all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
So, is ear candling recommended by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just ineffective, it’s downright dangerous.
A better way to Tackle earwax
Ear wax is normally rather healthy. It’s helpful 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 problems. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax obstruction, the most beneficial thing to do may be consulting with a hearing specialist. They might suggest some at-home solutions (such as using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of slide out on its own). But they may also clean out your ear during your visit.
We can remove the wax safely with specialty tools and training.
In general, you should avoid techniques such as using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or physician.
Give your ears some relief
If surplus earwax is causing you a little discomfort or misery, you should make an appointment with us. We will be capable of helping you remove any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.