Geneva Hearing Services - Geneva, IL

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody appreciates a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the ideal plumbing tutorial, buy the recommended tools, and go to work! A plumber would probably be a bit 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 begins to leak again. Because, as it so happens, in some cases a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.

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 doesn’t really sound very appealing, does it? Let’s dive into exactly 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 ill. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can happen for a variety of reasons. When this occurs, you may experience a certain amount of discomfort. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It’s no fun!

Because of this, some individuals believe they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the combination of heat and the hollow style of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals definitely don’t suggest this approach. Do ear candles really draw 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 emphatically advise against ever using this approach. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

The FDA also firmly advises against this approach.

What are the downsides of ear candling?

Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s a really small flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are a lot of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So, how could ear candling be harmful?

Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be absolutely hazardous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:

  • You could accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with inserting anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer substantial damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Frequently, this is something that has to be treated by a hearing professional.
  • The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can pack the earwax into an ever-more-dense obstruction, so too can sticking a specialized candle into your ear. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! This can lead to all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
  • Your face could be seriously burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll burn yourself. Everybody has accidents once in a while. Serious burns on the face are not the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
  • 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. This leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
  • Your ear can be severely burned: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. If the tip of the candle or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some considerable burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).

So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t simply useless, it’s utterly dangerous.

A better way to deal with earwax

Ear wax is normally rather healthy. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. Issues start when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad plan?

If you have an earwax blockage, the best thing to do might be speaking with a hearing specialist. They may recommend some at-home remedies (such as using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of run out on its own). But in some situations, they will do a cleaning for you.

Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without harming your ear.

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 directed by your hearing specialist or doctor.

How to help your ears feel better

Schedule an appointment with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We will be able to help you clear any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.

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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today