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. A plumber would most likely be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.
But that feeling only continues until your sink begins to leak again. That’s because sometimes the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.
It isn’t always easy to admit 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 that pleasing, does it? So, just 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 kind of feeling? Sometimes, it happens when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a number of reasons. When this happens, you might experience some discomfort. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It kind of stinks!
Some people, as a result, think that ear candling is just the cheap and novel fix they need. The concept is that a special hollow candle is put into your ear (non-burning end). Individuals think that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the blend of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.
It should be immediately mentioned that ear candling isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling actually works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against using this strategy ever. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.
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, at first. It’s a really small flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. 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 dangerous?
Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be absolutely hazardous. What negative impacts can ear candling have? Here are just some of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:
- Your ear can be severely burned: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. If the tip of the candle or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some substantial burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
- Your face could be seriously burned: There’s always a pretty good chance that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you could burn your face. Everyone has accidents once in a while. 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 might accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a risk that comes with sticking anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer considerable damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Frequently, this is something that must be addressed by a hearing professional.
- The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can smoosh the earwax into an ever-more-dense obstruction, so too can inserting a specialized candle in your ear. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the consequence.
- Your ear can have surplus 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.
So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually very 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 an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining well) that you start to have problems. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?
Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. They might suggest some at-home solutions (including using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of run out on its own). But in some situations, they will perform a cleaning for you.
We can clean out the wax safely with specialized tools and training.
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.
Give your ears some relief
If accumulated 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.