Everyone loves an easy fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn about how 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?
At least, 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.
Sometimes, that’s difficult 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 that appealing, does it? Let’s dive into just what earwax candling is and its dangers.
Ear candling – what is it?
Everybody has had the feeling of a stuffy ear from time to time. Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. In other cases, it may occur because you have too much earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have any number of causes). This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It’s not fun!
This means that some individuals imagine they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The idea is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Individuals think that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the combination of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.
Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t encourage this technique. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling actually works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. In other words, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advocate against ever using this technique. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.
The FDA also firmly advises against this practice.
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s just a tiny flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are a lot of people online who claim that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?
Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What are the side effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:
- Your Eardrum might accidentally get punctured: There’s a risk that comes with sticking anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer considerable damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Frequently, this is something that must be treated by a hearing professional.
- 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 happen if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can go into your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
- 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 could burn your face. Everybody has accidents once in a while. 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 seriously burned.
- You can push that earwax even further into your ear: In much the same way that pushing a Q-tip in your ear can pack the earwax into an ever-more-dense blockage, so too can sticking a specialized candle into your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the result.
So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually very dangerous!
So how should you clear away earwax?
Ear wax is typically rather healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. Issues begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?
Consult a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax obstruction. Normally, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to drip out on its own. But they might also clean out your ear during your visit.
We can clean out the wax safely with specialty tools and training.
In general, you should stay away from techniques like utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or physician.
Give your ears some relief
If excess earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or distress, you should schedule an appointment with us. We will be capable of helping you remove any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.