Everybody loves an easy fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn to fix that from a YouTube video. A plumber would most likely be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it on your own.
But that feeling only lasts 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 difficult to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep coming back to. 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.
Ear candling – what is it?
Everyone has had the feeling of a plugged ear now and then. On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. An excessive amount of earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a variety of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You may even notice a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It kind of stinks!
This means that some individuals believe they have encountered 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 mix of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure within your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.
It should be quickly recognized that ear candling is not advocated by healthcare professionals. If you’re searching for proof that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t find any. In other words, most hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically advise against ever utilizing this practice. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.
The FDA also strongly advocates against this practice.
The drawbacks of ear candling
Ear candling may feel safe, initially. It’s not like it’s a giant flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And individuals on the internet claimed it was safe! So, how can ear candling be dangerous?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be very hazardous and there’s no way of getting around that! What are the side effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:
- Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can go into your ears. This leftover wax can cause serious discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
- You can jam that earwax even further up into your ear: Inserting an ear candle into your ear can actually force earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! This can lead to all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
- You could severely burn your face: There’s always a fairly good chance that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you might burn your face. Accidents will happen! It’s all too easy for candle wax to drip into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to become severely burned.
- You might accidentally puncture your eardrum: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, creating considerable discomfort and harm to your hearing. Often, this is something that needs to be treated by a hearing professional.
- Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are quite hot. Your ear is extremely sensitive and considerable burning can happen if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just ineffective, it’s utterly dangerous.
So how should you eliminate earwax?
Earwax is actually a good thing. 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 start to have difficulty. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax obstruction, the most beneficial thing to do might be speaking with a hearing specialist. They might advise some at-home remedies (including using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of run out by itself). But they might also clean out your ear during your visit.
We can eliminate the wax safely with specialized tools and training.
It’s best to steer clear of things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good strategy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
Give your ears some relief
Schedule an appointment with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We will be able to help you clean any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.