Hearing Services of Nashville

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everyone loves an easy fix, especially when the solution is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, buy the recommended 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 satisfaction you feel, right?

At least, until your sink starts to leak again. That’s because sometimes the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.

Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. And, to some extent, that’s why people will frequently continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for complex 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.

What is ear candling?

Have you ever had a plugged-ear kind of feeling? On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can happen for various reasons. When this happens, you might experience some discomfort. You may even notice a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!

Some people, because of this, think that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel solution they need. The idea is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle inside of your ear. Somehow, the combination of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure within your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals definitely don’t encourage this practice. If you’re looking for proof that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t find any. Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against utilizing this technique ever. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

The FDA also firmly advocates against this approach.

What are the drawbacks of ear candling?

Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s not as if it’s a giant flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And there are plenty of people online who claim that it’s completely safe. So, how could ear candling be harmful?

Sadly, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:

  • Your Eardrum may accidentally get punctured: There’s a risk that comes with sticking anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer considerable damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this happens it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
  • The earwax can be pushed 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 sticking a specialized candle in your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax problem worse! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
  • 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. Accidents will happen! Severe burns on the face are not the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
  • 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 discomfort.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. If the tip of the candle or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some substantial burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).

So, do hearing healthcare professionals endorse ear candling? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually really dangerous!

A better way to manage earwax

Ear wax is typically pretty healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you begin to have issues. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad plan?

If you have an earwax obstruction, the most beneficial thing to do may be speaking with a hearing specialist. Typically, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to drip out on its own. But in some instances, they will perform a cleaning for you.

We can get rid of the wax safely with specialty tools and training.

Generally, you should stay away from techniques like utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or physician.

How to help your ears feel better

Schedule a consultation with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.

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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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