DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody appreciates 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! 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.
At least, until your sink starts 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 hard to admit. And, to some extent, that’s why people will frequently continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which might help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very pleasing, does it? Let’s dive into just what earwax candling is and its dangers.
What is ear candling?
Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? In some cases, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. You may even notice a temporary loss of hearing. It sort of stinks!
As a result, some people believe 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). Individuals imagine that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the blend of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
Healthcare professionals definitely don’t suggest this technique. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against using this technique ever. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.
The FDA also strongly advocates against this approach.
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s not like it’s a huge flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And individuals on the internet claimed it was safe! So, how could ear candling be harmful?
Sadly, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:
- You can severely burn your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. 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 pushing anything in your ears! You might accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing considerable discomfort and damage to your hearing. If this takes place it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
- You could severely burn your face: There’s always a pretty good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you could 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.
- The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually jam earwax further into the ear canal much like when you use a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can lead to all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get left behind in 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? No… not even a little! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually really dangerous!
A better way to deal with earwax
Ear wax is generally rather healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. Problems start when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax blockage, the most beneficial thing to do might be talking to a hearing specialist. They might advise some at-home remedies (like using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of run out by itself). But in some circumstances, they will perform a cleaning for you.
We can remove the wax safely with specialized tools and training.
In general, you should avoid techniques like utilizing 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.
How to help your ears feel better
Schedule an appointment with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.