Everybody loves an easy fix, particularly when the fix is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. It may take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no substitute for the gratification you feel, right?
But that feeling only continues until your sink starts 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. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound very pleasing, does it? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.
What is ear candling?
Everyone 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 trigger this feeling and that can occur for various reasons. When this takes place, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It kind of stinks!
This means that some people think they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle inside of your ear. Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow design of the candle changes the air pressure inside of your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.
Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t recommend this practice. Do ear candles actually draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will emphatically advocate against using this technique ever. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
The FDA also strongly advocates against this practice.
The negative aspects of ear candling
Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s just a tiny flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And individuals on the internet claimed it was safe! So, how can ear candling be harmful?
Sadly, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright dangerous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:
- Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are very hot. If the candle tips or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some substantial burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).
- You could seriously burn your face: There’s always a pretty good chance that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you could burn your face. Everybody has accidents now and then. Serious burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
- Your ear can have surplus candle wax left behind: 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 discomfort.
- You can push that earwax even further up into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually jam earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize 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 Eardrum might accidentally get punctured: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating substantial discomfort and harm to your hearing. If this takes place it’s very likely that you will have to get professional help.
So, do hearing healthcare professionals advocate ear candling? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only useless, it’s downright dangerous.
So how should you eliminate earwax?
Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s good for your ears. Issues start when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad plan?
Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. Usually, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to drip out on its own. But in some situations, they will perform a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without damaging your ear.
It’s best to avoid things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good plan to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
How to help your ears feel better
If surplus earwax is causing you a little discomfort or misery, you should schedule an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.