What You Need to Know About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

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. A plumber would most likely be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.

But that feeling only continues until your sink starts to leak again. That’s because sometimes 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 individuals keep coming back to. It sounds… kind of gross, doesn’t it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.

Ear candling – what is it?

Have you ever had a plugged-ear kind of feeling? Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for various reasons. This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It kind of stinks!

As a result, some individuals think they have found what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is that a special hollow candle is put in your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow style of the candle alters the air pressure within your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals definitely don’t suggest this approach. Do ear candles really draw wax out? No. There’s positively no evidence that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against using this technique 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!)

The drawbacks of ear candling

Ear candling may feel safe, at first. It’s a really small flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And there are plenty of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?

Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:

  • Your face could be seriously burned: 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! Serious burns on the face aren’t the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
  • Your ear can have residual candle wax drip in there: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. This Leftover wax can cause serious discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
  • You can jam that earwax even further into your ear: Inserting 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 problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the result.
  • Your Eardrum might accidentally get pierced: There’s a risk that comes with pushing anything in your ears! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating significant discomfort and harm to your hearing. Often, this is something that needs to be addressed by a hearing professional.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are really hot. Your ear is very sensitive and significant burning can occur 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! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually really dangerous!

So how should you clear away earwax?

Ear wax is usually pretty healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining properly) that you begin to have difficulty. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad strategy?

If you have an earwax blockage, the most beneficial thing to do might be consulting with a hearing specialist. They may suggest some at-home remedies (like using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to kind of slide out by itself). But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

Hearing specialists have special tools and training that let them remove wax without injuring your ear.

In general, you should stay away from techniques like 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.


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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