Everybody loves an easy fix, particularly when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the ideal plumbing tutorial, buy the suggested tools, and get to work! A plumber would most likely be a little more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense 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 admit that this is the case. And, in part, that’s why people will often continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very pleasing, 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. On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a variety of reasons. When this takes place, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. You may even notice a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!
Because of this, some individuals think they have encountered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The concept is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Individuals believe that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the mix of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
It should be quickly mentioned that ear candling isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals. If you’re searching for proof that ear candling actually works and draws out wax, you won’t find any. Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will emphatically recommend against utilizing this technique ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? In essence, don’t do it!)
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s just a tiny flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And there are lots of people online who claim that it’s completely safe. So, how could ear candling be harmful?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be quite dangerous and there’s no way of getting around that! What are the side effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:
- Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. This leftover wax can cause serious discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
- Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. If the candle tips or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).
- You could accidentally puncture your eardrum: There’s a risk that comes with inserting anything in your ears! You might accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing significant discomfort and damage to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that has to be addressed by a hearing professional.
- 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 might burn your face. Accidents will happen! Serious burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
- The earwax can be crammed 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 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 outcome.
So, do hearing healthcare professionals recommend ear candling? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually very dangerous!
So how should you eliminate earwax?
Ear wax is typically rather healthy. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. Problems start when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to remove earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax obstruction, the best thing to do might be speaking with a hearing specialist. Typically, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to run out by itself. But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clean out wax without harming your ear.
It’s best to steer clear of things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good strategy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
Give your ears some relief
Schedule an appointment 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.