DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, buy the suggested tools, and get to work! A plumber would probably be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.
But that feeling only continues 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 admit that this is the situation. And, in part, that’s why individuals will frequently continue to seek out “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which may help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It sounds… sort of gross, right? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.
Ear candling – what is it?
Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. In other cases, it may occur because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. You might even notice a temporary loss of hearing. It sort of stinks!
Some people, as a result, believe that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel solution they need. 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 changes the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.
Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t suggest this approach. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against using this practice ever. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.
The FDA also strongly advocates against this approach.
The negative aspects of ear candling
At first, ear candling may feel completely safe. It’s not as if it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are plenty of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?
Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be downright dangerous. 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 seriously burned: There’s always a pretty good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you might burn your face. Accidents will happen! It’s all too easy for candle wax to trickle into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to become severely burned.
- Your ear can be severely burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are quite hot. Your ear is extremely sensitive and considerable burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
- You might accidentally puncture your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with sticking anything in your ears! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, causing considerable discomfort and harm to your hearing. Often, this is something that needs to be treated by a hearing professional.
- You can push that earwax even further up into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually jam earwax further into the ear canal much like when you use a cotton swab. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! This can trigger all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually really dangerous!
So how should you get rid of earwax?
Ear wax is generally pretty healthy. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. Issues begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad plan?
Consult a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax blockage. Typically, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to run out by itself. But in some circumstances, they will do a cleaning for you.
We can get rid of the wax safely with specialized tools and training.
It’s best to avoid 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.
How to help your ears feel better
Schedule a consultation with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some distress. We will be capable of helping you clean any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.