DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn to fix that from a YouTube video. It might take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the satisfaction you feel, right?
But that feeling only continues until your sink begins to leak again. Because, as it so happens, sometimes a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.
Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. And, in part, that’s why people will often continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which might help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound that appealing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.
What is ear candling?
Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? Sometimes, it happens when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. Too much earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can happen for various reasons. When this takes place, you may experience some discomfort. You may even notice a temporary loss of hearing. It’s no fun!
This means that some people imagine they have found what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The idea is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in 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 suggest this practice. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s positively no proof that ear candling is effective (particularly not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against utilizing this strategy ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? Basically, don’t do it!)
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s a really small flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are a lot of people online who maintain that it’s perfectly safe. So, how can ear candling be harmful?
Sadly, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright dangerous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:
- The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually push earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! This can trigger all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
- Your face could be seriously burned: 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 dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
- You can severely burn your ear: 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 location).
- Your Eardrum may accidentally get punctured: There’s a danger that comes with sticking anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer significant damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Often, this is something that has to be addressed by a hearing professional.
- 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 discomfort.
So, is ear candling recommended by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually very dangerous!
So how should you eliminate earwax?
Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. Problems start when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad idea?
Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax blockage. They may recommend some at-home alternatives (such as using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of slide out by itself). But they may also clean out your ear during your visit.
We can get rid of 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 be put into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or doctor.
How to help your ears feel better
Schedule a consultation with us if you have excess earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.