DIY is all the rage these days and everyone likes a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn 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?
But that feeling only continues until your sink starts leaking again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.
Sometimes, that’s hard 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, right? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.
Ear candling – what is it?
Everyone has had the feeling of a stuffy ear from time to time. Occasionally, it occurs when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other cases, it may occur because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). When this occurs, you might experience some discomfort. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It kind of stinks!
Some individuals, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the cheap and novel fix they need. The concept is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle inside of your ear. Somehow, the combination of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters 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 draw wax out? No. There’s positively no evidence that ear candling is effective (especially not in the way that it’s supposed to work). In other words, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly recommend against ever using this practice. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
The FDA also strongly advocates against this practice.
The negative aspects of ear candling
Initially, ear candling may seem perfectly safe. It’s not as if it’s a huge flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And individuals on the internet claimed it was safe! So, how can ear candling be dangerous?
Ear candling can, unfortunately, be really dangerous and there’s no way of getting around that! What negative affects can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:
- Your face could be seriously burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll burn yourself. Accidents will happen! Severe burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
- You might accidentally puncture your eardrum: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You might accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating significant discomfort and harm to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that has to be treated by a hearing professional.
- You can jam that earwax even further into your ear: Inserting an ear candle into your ear can actually force earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! This can lead to all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
- Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are quite hot. Your ear is very sensitive and substantial burning can happen if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
So, do hearing healthcare professionals endorse ear candling? No… not even a little! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually quite dangerous!
A better way to deal with earwax
Ear wax is typically pretty healthy. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. Problems begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to remove earwax, what should you do?
Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax blockage. Typically, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to run out on its own. But in some cases, they will do a cleaning for you.
We can get rid of the wax safely with specialty tools and training.
It’s best to steer clear of things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or physician.
How to help your ears feel better
If surplus earwax is causing you a little discomfort or distress, you should make an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.