Everyone loves a quick fix, particularly when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and get to work! A plumber would most likely be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it on your own.
But that feeling only continues until your sink begins leaking again. That’s because sometimes 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 case. And, in part, that’s why individuals will often continue to seek out “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It sounds… kind of gross, doesn’t it? 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?
Have you ever had a stuffy-ear kind of feeling? Sometimes, it happens when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. Too much earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can happen for a variety of reasons. This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!
Some people, as a result, think that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel solution they need. The idea is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the combination of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.
It should be quickly mentioned that ear candling isn’t advocated by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling actually works and draws out wax, you won’t find any. Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against utilizing this practice ever. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
The FDA also firmly advocates against this approach.
The drawbacks of ear candling
Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s just a tiny flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And individuals on the internet said it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?
Sadly, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright dangerous. What negative impacts can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:
- Your face could be severely burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll get a burn. Accidents will happen! 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.
- The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle into 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! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the consequence.
- Your ear can have residual candle wax drip in there: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can go into your ears. This Leftover wax can cause serious discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
- You may accidentally puncture your eardrum: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! Your hearing will suffer substantial damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Often, this is something that needs to be treated by a hearing professional.
- 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 considerable burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just useless, it’s utterly dangerous.
A better way to handle earwax
Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining properly) that you start to have problems. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax blockage, the most beneficial thing to do may be speaking with a hearing specialist. Normally, 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 they might also clean out your ear during your visit.
We can get rid of the wax safely with specialty tools and training.
In general, you should avoid techniques such as utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or doctor.
How to help your ears feel better
If surplus earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or misery, you should schedule an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by eliminating any stubborn earwax.