DIY is all the rage these days and everyone appreciates a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. It might take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the gratification you feel, right?
At least, until your sink starts leaking again. Because, as it so happens, in some cases a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.
Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound that appealing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.
Ear candling – what is it?
Have you ever had a stuffy-ear sort of feeling? Occasionally, it happens when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. An excessive amount of earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a number of reasons. When this takes place, you may experience some discomfort. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It’s not fun!
Because of this, some individuals believe they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The idea is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. People imagine that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the blend of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.
It should be immediately recognized that ear candling isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals. If you’re searching for evidence that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. Essentially, most hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically advocate against ever using this technique. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
The FDA also strongly advocates against this practice.
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Ear candling may feel safe, initially. It’s not like it’s a huge flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are a lot of people online who maintain that it’s perfectly safe. So, how can ear candling be dangerous?
Sadly, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be absolutely hazardous. What negative impacts can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:
- You could seriously burn your face: There’s always a pretty good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you might burn your face. Accidents will happen! Serious burns on the face aren’t the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
- You can jam that earwax even further into your ear: Inserting an ear candle into your ear can actually force 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 trigger all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
- Your Eardrum could accidentally get punctured: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You might accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing substantial discomfort and harm to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that needs to be addressed 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 extremely sensitive and considerable burning can happen if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
So, do hearing healthcare professionals recommend ear candling? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually really dangerous!
A better way to manage earwax
Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s good for your ears. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining properly) that you start to have difficulty. So what should you do if making use of a candle is a bad strategy?
Consult a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax blockage. Typically, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to drip out on its own. But they may also clean out your ear during your visit.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without injuring your ear.
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
Schedule an appointment with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by clearing away any stubborn earwax.