DIY is all the rage these days and everyone appreciates a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn 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 satisfaction you feel, right?
At least, until your sink starts to leak again. Because, as it so happens, in some cases a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.
Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep going back to. It sounds… sort of gross, right? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.
Ear candling – what is it?
Have you ever had a stuffy-ear sort of feeling? On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. An excessive amount of earwax can also cause this feeling and that can occur for a variety of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You might even experience a temporary loss of hearing. It’s not fun!
As a result, some people imagine they have encountered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed into your ear (non-burning end). People think that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the combination of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.
It should be immediately noted that ear candling isn’t encouraged by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover 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 strongly advises against this approach.
The drawbacks of ear candling
Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s a really small flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And there are lots of people online who claim that it’s completely safe. So, how could ear candling be harmful?
Ear candling can, unfortunately, be really hazardous and there’s no way to get around that! What are the negative effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:
- Your face could be severely burned: There’s always a fairly good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you might burn your face. Everyone has accidents once in a while. 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 severely burned.
- You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are quite hot. If the tip of the candle or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some considerable burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
- You may accidentally puncture your eardrum: There’s a risk that comes with sticking anything in your ears! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating significant discomfort and damage to your hearing. If this happens it’s very likely that you will have to get professional help.
- Your ear can have surplus candle wax drip in there: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. This Leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
- You can jam that earwax even further up into your ear: Inserting an ear candle inside 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.
So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t simply ineffective, it’s downright dangerous.
So how should you get rid of earwax?
Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. Issues begin when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to remove earwax, what should you do?
Consult a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. They may suggest some at-home alternatives (like using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of run out on its own). But they may also clean out your ear during your visit.
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 go into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or physician.
Give your ears some relief
Schedule an appointment with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by clearing away any stubborn earwax.