The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everyone appreciates a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and go to work! A plumber would probably be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.

At least, until your sink starts leaking again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.

It’s not always easy to acknowledge that this is the situation. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound very appealing, does it? 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. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can happen for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You may even notice a temporary loss of hearing. It’s not fun!

Some individuals, as a result, believe that ear candling is just the cheap and novel solution they need. The concept is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow style of the candle changes the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

It should be quickly recognized that ear candling isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s positively no evidence that ear candling works (particularly not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against utilizing this technique ever. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

The FDA also strongly advocates against this practice.

The drawbacks of ear candling

Ear candling may feel safe, initially. It’s just a tiny flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And there are lots of people online who maintain 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 negative impacts can ear candling have? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:

  • Your ear can have surplus candle wax left behind: 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, impact your hearing.
  • You can jam that earwax even further up into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually push 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! This can result in all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
  • You could accidentally pierce your eardrum: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You might accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating significant discomfort and harm to your hearing. If this happens it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
  • You can severely burn your ear: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. 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 location).
  • 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 burn yourself. Everybody has accidents once in a while. 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 get severely burned.

So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually very dangerous!

So how should you eliminate earwax?

Ear wax is normally pretty healthy. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you start to have problems. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad idea?

Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. Typically, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to drip out by itself. But they may also clean out your ear during your visit.

Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that let them clean out wax without injuring your ear.

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 doctor.

How to help your ears feel better

If accumulated earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or distress, you should make an appointment with us. We will be able to help you remove any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.