What You Should Know About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everyone loves a quick fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. A plumber would most likely be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.

At least, until your sink starts leaking again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.

It isn’t always easy to acknowledge that this is the situation. 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? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.

Ear candling – what is it?

Have you ever had a plugged-ear kind of feeling? Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a variety of reasons. This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!

Some individuals, as a result, think that ear candling is just the cheap and novel solution they need. The concept is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). Individuals think that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the blend of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t recommend this practice. Do ear candles actually draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will emphatically advocate against using this practice ever. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.

The FDA also strongly advocates against this approach.

What are the disadvantages of ear candling?

Initially, ear candling may seem perfectly safe. It’s not as if it’s a huge flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are plenty of people online who maintain that it’s perfectly safe. So, how could ear candling be harmful?

Ear candling can, unfortunately, be quite dangerous and there’s no way of getting around that! What are the side effects of ear candling? Here are just a few of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:

  • Your face could be severely burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll burn yourself. Everybody has accidents once in a while. Severe 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 severely burn your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are very hot. 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 spot).
  • Your Eardrum could accidentally get pierced: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer considerable harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this takes place it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can go into your ears. This leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
  • The earwax can be pushed 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 blockage, so too can inserting a specialized candle into your ear. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the result.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals advocate ear candling? No… not even a little bit! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually really dangerous!

So how should you eliminate earwax?

Ear wax is normally rather healthy. In normal amounts, it’s beneficial for your ears. Problems begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?

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

Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that let them remove wax without injuring your ear.

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

If surplus earwax is causing you a little discomfort or distress, you should make an appointment with us. We will be capable of helping you clean any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Schedule an appointment to see if hearing aids could benefit you.