DIY is all the rage these days and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, go get the recommended tools, and go to work! It might take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the gratification you feel, right?
But that feeling only lasts until your sink begins to leak again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-honed skills of a professional.
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 very pleasing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.
What is ear candling?
Everyone has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Sometimes, it takes place when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other situations, it may occur because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It’s not fun!
Some individuals, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the cheap and novel fix they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed into your ear (non-burning end). Individuals imagine that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the mix of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
It should be immediately mentioned that ear candling isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles actually draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically advise against ever using this practice. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? Essentially, don’t do it!)
What are the drawbacks of ear candling?
Ear candling may feel safe, initially. It’s not as if it’s a huge flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And people on the internet said it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?
Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:
- You could severely burn your face: There’s always a fairly good possibility 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 get severely burned.
- You can push that earwax even further up 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. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! This can cause all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
- Your ear can have residual candle wax drip in there: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. This leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
- Your Eardrum might accidentally get pierced: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer substantial damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this takes place it’s very likely that you will need to get professional help.
- You can severely burn your ear: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. Your ear is very sensitive and significant burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
So, do hearing healthcare professionals endorse ear candling? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t simply useless, it’s downright dangerous.
A better way to manage earwax
Ear wax is typically rather healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining well) that you begin to have issues. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?
Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax obstruction. Usually, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to run out by itself. But in some cases, they will perform a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without harming your ear.
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.
How to help your ears feel better
Schedule an appointment with us if you have excess earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.