DIY is all the rage these days and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. A plumber would most likely be a bit 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 begins to leak again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be effectively substituted for a quick fix.
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… kind of gross, right? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.
What is ear candling?
Everyone has had the feeling of a plugged ear now and then. Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can occur for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It kind of stinks!
Some individuals, because of this, 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 inside of your ear. Individuals believe that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the combination of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
It should be immediately mentioned that ear candling is not encouraged by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s absolutely no evidence that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against utilizing this strategy ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? In essence, don’t do it!)
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Initially, ear candling might seem perfectly safe. It’s just a tiny flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. 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 dangerous?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be very dangerous and there’s no way of getting around that! What are the negative effects of ear candling? Here are just a few of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:
- You could seriously burn your face: There’s always a pretty good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you could burn your face. Everyone has accidents now and then. Severe burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
- 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. This leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
- Your Eardrum may accidentally get punctured: There’s a risk that comes with pushing anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer considerable damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will need to get professional assistance.
- You can severely burn your ear: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. Your ear is extremely sensitive and substantial burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
- The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually push 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 result in all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
So, is ear candling recommended by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only ineffective, it’s utterly dangerous.
A better way to Tackle earwax
Ear wax is generally pretty healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. Issues begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad idea?
Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. They may advise some at-home remedies (including using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to sort of run out by itself). But they may also clean out your ear during your visit.
We can remove the wax safely with specialty tools and training.
In general, you should avoid techniques like utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good strategy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
How to help your ears feel better
Schedule an appointment with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.