DIY is all the rage nowadays and everyone appreciates a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. A plumber would probably be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it on your own.
At least, until your sink starts to leak again. Because, as it turns out, in some cases a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-honed skills of a professional.
It isn’t always easy to acknowledge that this is the situation. And, to some extent, that’s why individuals will often continue to seek out “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It sounds… kind of gross, right? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.
What is ear candling?
Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Sometimes, it takes place when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. Too much earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can happen for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!
Because of this, some individuals think they have found what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The idea is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure within your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.
Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t recommend this approach. If you’re looking for proof that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t find any. Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against utilizing this practice ever. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? Essentially, don’t do it!)
What are the drawbacks of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s not as if it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are plenty of people online who claim that it’s completely safe. So, how can ear candling be harmful?
Sadly, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:
- You can push that earwax even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually force earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. 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.
- You could seriously burn your face: Look, any time you’re positioning candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll get a burn. Accidents will happen! It’s all too easy for candle wax to drip into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to get seriously burned.
- 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. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the discomfort.
- You can severely burn your ear: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. Your ear is really sensitive and substantial burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
- You might accidentally puncture your eardrum: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, causing substantial discomfort and harm to your hearing. Often, this is something that must be addressed by a hearing professional.
So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually very dangerous!
A better way to handle earwax
Ear wax is generally rather healthy. In normal amounts, it’s beneficial for your ears. Issues begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?
Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. Usually, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to run out by itself. But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that let them remove wax without harming your ear.
Generally, you should avoid techniques like utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or physician.
Give your ears some relief
Schedule an appointment with us if you have excess earwax that’s causing you some distress. We will be able to help you clear any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.