DIY is all the rage these days and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, go get the recommended tools, and go to work! A plumber would probably be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.
At least, until your sink starts to leak 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. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep coming back to. It doesn’t really sound very appealing, does it? Let’s dive into just what earwax candling is and its dangers.
Ear candling – what is it?
Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? Sometimes, it happens when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other instances, it might happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It’s not fun!
Some individuals, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel solution they need. The idea 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 in your ear.
It should be quickly mentioned that ear candling is not encouraged by healthcare professionals. If you’re searching for proof that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically recommend against ever utilizing this practice. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? Essentially, don’t do it!)
What are the disadvantages of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s a really small flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are lots of people online who claim that it’s perfectly safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?
Sadly, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:
- Your Eardrum might accidentally get pierced: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer considerable harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will need to get professional help.
- Your face could be seriously burned: Look, any time you’re positioning candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll burn yourself. 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 seriously burned.
- You can push that earwax even further into your ear: Inserting an ear candle inside your ear can actually force earwax further into the ear canal much like when you use a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax problem worse! This can result in all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
- Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: 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 discomfort.
- You can cause severe burns to your ear: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. Your ear is really sensitive and significant burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
So, do hearing healthcare professionals recommend ear candling? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only ineffective, it’s utterly dangerous.
So how should you get rid of earwax?
Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal amounts, it’s beneficial for your ears. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining properly) that you start to have problems. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad plan?
Consult a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. They may recommend some at-home solutions (like using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of slide out by itself). But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.
We can clean out the wax safely with specialized tools and training.
Generally, you should avoid techniques like using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or physician.
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.