The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everybody loves an easy fix, particularly when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. A plumber would most likely be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.

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. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound that pleasing, does it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.

Ear candling – what is it?

Everyone has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can occur for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It kind of stinks!

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

It should be immediately recognized that ear candling is not advocated by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles actually draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling is effective (especially not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Essentially, most hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically recommend against ever using this practice. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? In essence, don’t do it!)

The drawbacks of ear candling

Ear candling may feel safe, initially. It’s not like it’s a huge flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And there are a lot of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So, how could ear candling be harmful?

Ear candling can, unfortunately, be really hazardous and there’s no way of getting around that! What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:

  • Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: 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 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! Severe burns on the face are not the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
  • You can jam that earwax even further up into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually push earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize 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 consequence.
  • You may accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with pushing anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer significant harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Often, this is something that needs to be addressed by a hearing professional.
  • Your ear can be severely burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are very hot. If the tip of the candle or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some considerable burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).

So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only ineffective, it’s utterly dangerous.

A better way to Tackle earwax

Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. Problems begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax obstruction. Normally, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to run out by itself. But they may also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without harming your ear.

In general, you should avoid techniques like using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good strategy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.

How to help your ears feel better

Schedule an appointment with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by clearing away any stubborn earwax.


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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