Everyone loves an easy fix, particularly when the solution is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn 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 on your own.
But that feeling only lasts until your sink begins to leak again. That’s because sometimes the skill and experience of a professional can’t be effectively substituted for a quick fix.
It isn’t always easy to acknowledge that this is the case. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep going back to. It sounds… sort of gross, right? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.
What is ear candling?
Everyone has had the feeling of a stuffy ear from time to time. On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. Too much earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can happen for a number of reasons. When this occurs, you may experience some discomfort. You may even experience a temporary loss of hearing. It kind of stinks!
Some individuals, as a result, think that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel fix they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). Individuals believe that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the mix of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
It should be immediately recognized that ear candling isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for proof that ear candling actually works and pulls out wax, you won’t find any. Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically advocate against ever using this approach. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
The FDA also strongly advocates against this practice.
The drawbacks of ear candling
Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s a really small flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And people on the internet claimed it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be quite dangerous and there’s no way to get around that! What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just a few of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:
- Your ear can be severely burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are quite hot. If the tip of the candle or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
- You could seriously burn your face: There’s always a pretty good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you could burn your face. Everybody has accidents once in a while. Severe burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. This Leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
- 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 obstruction, so too can sticking a specialized candle into your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax problem worse! This can lead to all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
- Your Eardrum may accidentally get punctured: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, causing considerable discomfort and harm to your hearing. Often, this is something that has to be treated by a hearing professional.
So, is ear candling recommended by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only useless, it’s utterly dangerous.
So how should you clear away earwax?
Ear wax is generally rather healthy. In normal amounts, it’s good for your ears. Problems start when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if making use of a candle is a bad plan?
Consult a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax obstruction. They might recommend some at-home remedies (like using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to kind of run out by itself). But in some situations, they will do a cleaning for you.
We can remove the wax safely with specialty tools and training.
Generally, you should avoid techniques like using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good plan to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
Give your ears some relief
Schedule an appointment with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We can help you get back to normal by eliminating any stubborn earwax.