The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everyone loves a quick fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. 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 on your own.

At least, until your sink starts to leak again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be effectively substituted for a quick fix.

Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound that appealing, does it? Let’s dive into just what earwax candling is and its dangers.

What is ear candling?

Everybody has had the feeling of a stuffy ear now and then. In some cases, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can occur for a number of reasons. When this takes place, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. You might even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!

Some people, as a result, believe that ear candling is just the cheap and novel fix they need. The concept is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

It should be quickly recognized that ear candling isn’t encouraged by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles really draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no evidence that ear candling works (particularly not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will emphatically recommend against utilizing this practice ever. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

The FDA also strongly advises against this practice.

The drawbacks of ear candling

Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s not like it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And individuals on the internet claimed it was safe! So, how could ear candling be dangerous?

Sadly, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What negative impacts can ear candling have? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:

  • You can jam that earwax even further up into your ear: In much the same way that pushing a Q-tip in your ear can smoosh the earwax into an ever-more-dense obstruction, so too can sticking a specialized candle in your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can cause all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
  • You might accidentally pierce your eardrum: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! Your hearing will suffer substantial harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this takes place it’s very likely that you will have to get professional help.
  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. If the candle tips or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
  • Your ear can have surplus candle wax left behind: 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 discomfort.
  • Your face could be seriously burned: There’s always a pretty good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you could burn your face. Everyone has accidents now and then. It’s all too easy for candle wax to trickle into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to get seriously burned.

So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually very dangerous!

A better way to handle earwax

Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you start to have difficulty. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad idea?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax blockage. Typically, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to loosen 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 remove the wax safely with specialized tools and training.

Generally, you should avoid techniques such as using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or doctor.

Give your ears some relief

Schedule an appointment with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some distress. We will be capable of helping you remove any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.


The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.