The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody appreciates a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, go get the recommended tools, and get to work! A plumber would most likely be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it on your own.

But that feeling only continues until your sink starts to leak again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-honed skills of a professional.

It isn’t always easy to acknowledge that this is the case. And, to some extent, that’s why people will often continue to seek out “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which might help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It sounds… sort of gross, right? 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? On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can occur for various reasons. This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. You might even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It’s not fun!

Some people, as a result, think that ear candling is just the cheap and novel fix they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed into your ear (non-burning end). People think that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the combination of heat and pressure changes in your ear.

It should be immediately mentioned that ear candling isn’t encouraged by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling actually works and pulls out wax, you won’t find any. Essentially, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly recommend against ever using this practice. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.

The FDA also strongly advises against this practice.

The negative aspects of ear candling

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

Ear candling can, unfortunately, be very dangerous and there’s no way to get around that! 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: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. If the candle tips or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
  • Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can go into your ears. This Leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
  • Your face could be severely burned: There’s always a pretty good chance that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you might burn your face. Accidents will happen! 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 get severely burned.
  • You can push that earwax even further up into your ear: Inserting an ear candle inside your ear can actually force 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 result.
  • You could accidentally pierce your eardrum: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer substantial harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will need to get professional assistance.

So, is ear candling recommended by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just ineffective, it’s downright dangerous.

A better way to deal with earwax

Ear wax is normally rather healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. Issues begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?

If you have an earwax obstruction, the best thing to do may be consulting with a hearing specialist. They might advise some at-home solutions (including using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of slide out by itself). But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

We can get rid of the wax safely with specialized 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 strategy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.

How to help your ears feel better

Schedule a consultation with us if you have surplus 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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