DIY is all the rage these days and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn about how 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 substitute for the satisfaction 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.
Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep going back to. 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 dig into that.
What is ear candling?
Everybody has had the feeling of a stuffy ear now and then. On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. Too much earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can happen for various reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!
Some people, as a result, think that ear candling is just the cheap and novel solution they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is put in your ear (non-burning end). People imagine that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the combination of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t suggest this technique. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling actually works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. In other words, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advocate against ever utilizing this practice. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? Basically, don’t do it!)
What are the drawbacks of ear candling?
At first, ear candling may seem completely safe. It’s not like it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And people on the internet claimed it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?
Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be absolutely hazardous. What negative impacts 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 drip in there: 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 candle tips or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some considerable burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
- You could seriously burn your face: 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 drip hot wax into your eye.
- Your Eardrum could accidentally get punctured: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! Your hearing will suffer substantial harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Often, this is something that must be treated by a hearing professional.
- The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can smoosh the earwax into an ever-more-dense blockage, so too can sticking a specialized candle in your ear. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only useless, it’s downright dangerous.
A better way to handle earwax
Ear wax is typically rather healthy. In normal amounts, it’s good for your ears. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining well) that you start to have problems. 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 might be speaking with a hearing specialist. They may suggest some at-home solutions (like using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to sort of run out by itself). But in some situations, they will do a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without injuring your ear.
In general, you should avoid techniques such as using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good plan to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
Give your ears some relief
Schedule a consultation with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by eliminating any stubborn earwax.