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, go get the recommended tools, and get 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. Because, as it turns out, in some cases a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.
Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. 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 known as ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very pleasing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.
Ear candling – what is it?
Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? Sometimes, it happens when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other cases, it might happen because you have too much earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have any number of causes). When this occurs, you may experience some discomfort. You may even notice a temporary loss of hearing. It’s no fun!
As a result, some people believe they have found what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The concept is that a special hollow candle is put into your ear (non-burning end). Individuals imagine that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the blend of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.
Healthcare professionals definitely don’t encourage this practice. If you’re searching for evidence that ear candling actually works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. In other words, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advocate against ever utilizing this technique. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
The FDA also firmly advises against this practice.
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Ear candling may feel safe, at first. It’s a really small flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And people on the internet claimed it was safe! So, how could ear candling be dangerous?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be very hazardous and there’s no way to get around that! What are the side effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:
- You can jam that earwax even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually force earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the consequence.
- Your Eardrum may accidentally get pierced: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! Your hearing will suffer substantial harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this takes place it’s very likely that you will have to get professional help.
- You can severely burn your ear: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. If the tip of the candle or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some substantial burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can go into your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
- Your face could be severely burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll burn yourself. Accidents will happen! Severe burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually quite dangerous!
A better way to handle earwax
Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining properly) that you start to have difficulty. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax blockage, the best thing to do might be speaking with a hearing specialist. Usually, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to run out on its own. But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.
Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that let them remove wax without damaging 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.
Give your ears some relief
Schedule a consultation with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We will be capable of helping you remove any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.