Everybody loves an easy fix, particularly when the fix is also a DIY 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 replacement for the gratification you feel, right?
But that feeling only lasts until your sink starts leaking again. That’s because sometimes the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.
It’s not always easy to admit that this is the situation. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound that appealing, does it? Let’s dive into just what earwax candling is and its dangers.
What is ear candling?
Everybody has had the feeling of a stuffy ear now and then. In some cases, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. In other situations, it may occur because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!
Some individuals, as a result, believe that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel fix they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is put in your ear (non-burning end). People believe that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the blend of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.
Healthcare professionals definitely don’t suggest this practice. If you’re searching for proof that ear candling actually works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. Essentially, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advocate against ever using this technique. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? Basically, don’t do it!)
The drawbacks of ear candling
Ear candling may feel safe, initially. It’s a really small flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And there are a lot of people online who claim that it’s perfectly safe. So, how could ear candling be harmful?
Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What are the side effects of ear candling? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:
- You can severely burn your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are very hot. Your ear is extremely sensitive and significant burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
- You can push that earwax even further into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can smoosh the earwax into an ever-more-dense blockage, so too can sticking a specialized candle into your ear. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
- Your face could be severely burned: Look, any time you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll burn yourself. Everybody has accidents now and then. Severe burns on the face aren’t the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
- Your ear can have surplus candle wax drip in there: The candle wax can get left behind in your ears even if you don’t get burned. This leftover wax can cause serious discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
- Your Eardrum could accidentally get pierced: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You might accidentally puncture your eardrum, creating significant discomfort and harm to your hearing. If this happens it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
So, is ear candling recommended by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t simply useless, it’s utterly dangerous.
A better way to handle earwax
Ear wax is typically rather healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you start to have problems. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax blockage, the best thing to do might be talking to a hearing specialist. They might suggest some at-home alternatives (such as using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to kind of run out by itself). But in some situations, they will perform a cleaning for you.
We can eliminate the wax safely with specialty 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 policy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
Give your ears some relief
Schedule an appointment with us if you have excess earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.