Everyone loves an easy fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and get to work! 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 to leak again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.
Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. And, to some extent, that’s why people will often continue to seek out “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It sounds… sort of gross, right? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.
Ear candling – what is it?
Everyone has had the feeling of a stuffy ear now and then. Sometimes, it happens when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can occur for a variety of reasons. When this takes place, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It’s no fun!
As a result, some people believe they have found what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The concept is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the combination of heat and the hollow style of the candle changes the air pressure within your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.
It should be immediately recognized that ear candling is not recommended by healthcare professionals. If you’re searching for evidence that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against using this technique ever. (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!)
The negative aspects of ear candling
At first, ear candling might seem completely safe. It’s just a tiny flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And there are a lot of people online who claim that it’s perfectly safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?
Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be absolutely hazardous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just a few of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:
- You might accidentally pierce your eardrum: 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 takes place it’s very likely that you will need to get professional assistance.
- The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: Inserting an ear candle into your ear can actually jam 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 trigger all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
- Your ear can be seriously burned: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. Your ear is extremely sensitive and significant burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
- Your face could be seriously burned: There’s always a pretty good chance that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you could burn your face. 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 severely burned.
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get left behind in your ears even if you don’t get burned. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
So, do hearing healthcare professionals advocate ear candling? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually quite dangerous!
A better way to deal with earwax
Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, 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 begin to have problems. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad plan?
Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax blockage. Typically, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to run out on its own. But they may also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.
We can get rid of the wax safely with specialty tools and training.
It’s best to steer clear of 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.
Give your ears some relief
Schedule an appointment with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We will be capable of helping you clear any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.