Everybody loves a quick fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the ideal plumbing tutorial, go get the recommended tools, and get 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 on your own.
At least, until your sink begins leaking again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.
It isn’t always easy to acknowledge that this is the situation. 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 appealing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.
What is ear candling?
Have you ever had a stuffy-ear sort of feeling? On occasion, 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. When this occurs, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. You might even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!
Because of this, some individuals 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). Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow style of the candle changes the air pressure inside of your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.
It should be immediately noted that ear candling is not encouraged by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s positively no evidence that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s supposed to work). In other words, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advise against ever using this practice. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? In essence, don’t do it!)
The drawbacks 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 it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be quite hazardous and there’s no way of getting around that! What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just a few of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:
- Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are really hot. Your ear is extremely sensitive and considerable burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
- You might accidentally puncture your eardrum: There’s a risk that comes with inserting anything in your ears! You may accidentally puncture 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 can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. This Leftover wax can cause serious discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
- You could seriously burn your face: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll get a burn. Accidents will happen! Serious burns on the face are not the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
- The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually push 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 kinds of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just ineffective, it’s downright dangerous.
So how should you get rid of earwax?
Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you start to have issues. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad plan?
Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. They might recommend some at-home remedies (such as using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of slide out on its own). But in some situations, they will perform a cleaning for you.
We can remove the wax safely with specialty tools and training.
It’s best to avoid things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good policy 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 distress. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.