Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everybody loves an easy fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, go get the recommended tools, and get to work! A plumber would probably be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.

At least, until your sink starts leaking again. Because, as it so happens, sometimes a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.

Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. And, in part, that’s why individuals will frequently continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which might help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It sounds… sort of gross, doesn’t it? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.

What is ear candling?

Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear now and then. Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. In other cases, it may happen because you have too much earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have any number of causes). When this takes place, you may experience a certain amount of discomfort. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!

Some individuals, because of this, think that ear candling is just the cheap and novel solution they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t recommend this approach. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t find any. In other words, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advocate against ever utilizing this practice. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.

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 may feel safe, initially. It’s not like it’s a huge flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And people on the internet claimed it was safe! So, how could ear candling be dangerous?

Ear candling can, regrettably, be quite dangerous and there’s no way of getting around that! What negative impacts can ear candling have? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:

  • You can jam that earwax even further up into your ear: Inserting 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! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the consequence.
  • You may accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with sticking anything in your ears! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing significant discomfort and damage to your hearing. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will need to get professional help.
  • 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.
  • You could seriously 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. Everyone has accidents now and then. It’s all too easy for candle wax to trickle into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to become severely burned.
  • You can severely burn your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are really hot. If the tip of the candle or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some substantial burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).

So, do hearing healthcare professionals recommend ear candling? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually very dangerous!

A better way to deal with earwax

Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining properly) that you begin to have difficulty. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to remove earwax, what should you do?

Consult a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax blockage. Normally, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to drip out by itself. But they might also clean out your ear during your visit.

We can eliminate the wax safely with specialty tools and training.

Generally, you should stay away from techniques such as using cotton swabs and earwax candling. 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

If accumulated earwax is causing you a little discomfort or distress, you should schedule an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by clearing away any stubborn earwax.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment


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.