What You Should Know About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

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

But that feeling only continues until your sink begins to leak again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-honed 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 coming back to. It doesn’t really sound very appealing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.

Ear candling – what is it?

Have you ever had a stuffy-ear sort of feeling? Sometimes, it happens when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for various reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It’s not fun!

Some people, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the cheap and novel solution they need. The concept 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.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t recommend this technique. Do ear candles actually draw wax out? No. There’s positively no proof that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Essentially, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly recommend against ever using this practice. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? Basically, don’t do it!)

What are the drawbacks of ear candling?

At first, ear candling might feel perfectly safe. It’s not like it’s a giant flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And individuals on the internet said it was safe! So, how could ear candling be dangerous?

Sadly, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:

  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the discomfort.
  • Your ear can be severely burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are very hot. Your ear is very sensitive and considerable burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • Your Eardrum could accidentally get punctured: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer significant harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Frequently, this is something that needs to be addressed by a hearing professional.
  • Your face could be severely burned: There’s always a pretty good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you might burn your face. Everyone has accidents now and then. Serious burns on the face are not the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
  • You can push that earwax even further into your ear: Inserting an ear candle inside your ear can actually jam earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can lead to all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals advocate ear candling? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t simply useless, it’s utterly 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 an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you begin to have difficulty. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax blockage. They may advise some at-home remedies (including using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of run out by itself). But in some cases, they will perform a cleaning for you.

Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clean out wax without injuring your ear.

In general, you should stay away from techniques such as using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or doctor.

Give your ears some relief

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