DIY is all the rage these days and everybody appreciates a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and get to work! It might take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the satisfaction you feel, right?
At least, until your sink begins to leak again. Because, as it so happens, 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 individuals 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?
Have you ever had a stuffy-ear kind of feeling? On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. 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 may even temporarily go. It’s no fun!
Because of this, some individuals think 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 inside of your ear. People think that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the blend of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
Healthcare professionals definitely don’t encourage this technique. If you’re searching for evidence 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 advise against ever utilizing this technique. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
The FDA also firmly advocates against this approach.
What are the drawbacks of ear candling?
Ear candling may feel safe, initially. It’s just a tiny flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are lots of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be very hazardous and there’s no way to get around that! What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:
- You can jam that earwax even further up into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually force earwax further into the ear canal much like when you use a cotton swab. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the consequence.
- You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. If the candle tips or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
- 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 now and then. Serious burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
- Your ear can have residual candle wax drip in there: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can go into your ears. This Leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
- You could accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a danger 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 has to be addressed by a hearing professional.
So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only useless, it’s downright dangerous.
So how should you eliminate earwax?
Ear wax is typically rather healthy. 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 well) that you begin to have issues. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to remove earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax blockage, the most beneficial thing to do might be consulting with a hearing specialist. They may advise some at-home alternatives (including using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of run out on its own). But in some situations, they will perform a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to remove wax without damaging your ear.
It’s best to steer clear of things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or physician.
How to help your ears feel better
If excess earwax is causing you a little discomfort or distress, you should make an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by clearing away any stubborn earwax.