The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody appreciates a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, buy the recommended tools, and go to work! It might 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. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be effectively substituted for a quick fix.

It’s not always easy to acknowledge that this is the case. And, in part, that’s why individuals will frequently continue to seek out “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which may help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It sounds… sort of gross, doesn’t it? So, exactly 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 stuffy-ear kind of feeling? Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. In other instances, it might happen because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). When this takes place, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It’s no fun!

Because of this, some people think they have encountered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed into your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the combination of heat and the hollow style of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.

It should be quickly mentioned that ear candling isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles really pull wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Essentially, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advise against ever utilizing this approach. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

The FDA also firmly advises against this approach.

What are the drawbacks of ear candling?

Ear candling may feel safe, at first. It’s not like it’s a huge flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are a lot of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So, how could ear candling be dangerous?

Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:

  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are really hot. If the tip of the candle or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
  • Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: 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.
  • The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: Inserting an ear candle into your ear can actually jam earwax further into the ear canal much like when you use a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax problem worse! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the result.
  • Your Eardrum may accidentally get punctured: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating significant discomfort and damage to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that needs to be addressed by a hearing professional.
  • You could severely burn your face: There’s always a pretty good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you could burn your face. Accidents will happen! Serious burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.

So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually quite dangerous!

So how should you remove earwax?

Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining well) that you start to have issues. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad strategy?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax blockage. They may advise some at-home remedies (including using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to kind of slide out by itself). But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

We can eliminate the wax safely with specialty tools and training.

It’s best to avoid things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or physician.

Give your ears some relief

Schedule a consultation with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We will be capable of helping you clean 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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