What You Need to Know About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage these days and everybody appreciates a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn about how 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 gratification 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-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 coming back to. It sounds… kind of gross, right? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.

Ear candling – what is it?

Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear now and then. Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. In other instances, it may happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have any number of causes). When this occurs, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It’s not fun!

Because of this, some people imagine they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is that a special hollow candle is put into your ear (non-burning end). People believe that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the mix of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.

It should be immediately mentioned that ear candling is not advocated by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling actually works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will emphatically advocate against utilizing this practice ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

The FDA also strongly advises against this approach.

The negative aspects of ear candling

At first, ear candling may feel perfectly safe. 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 harmful?

Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just a few of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:

  • Your Eardrum could accidentally get punctured: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer substantial damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can go into your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
  • You can push that earwax even further into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can pack the earwax into an ever-more-dense blockage, so too can pushing a specialized candle in your ear. 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.
  • Your face could be severely burned: There’s always a fairly good chance that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you could 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 become severely burned.
  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are really hot. Your ear is really sensitive and significant burning can happen if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals advocate ear candling? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually very dangerous!

So how should you clear away earwax?

Ear wax is generally 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 start to have issues. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad idea?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax blockage. Usually, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to run out by itself. But they may also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

We can eliminate the wax safely with specialty tools and training.

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 advised by your hearing specialist or physician.

Give your ears some relief

Schedule a consultation with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.


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.


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