The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, buy the suggested tools, and get to work! It may take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the satisfaction you feel, right?

But that feeling only lasts until your sink begins leaking again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-honed skills of a professional.

It’s not always easy to acknowledge that this is the situation. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep coming back to. It sounds… sort of gross, right? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.

What is ear candling?

Have you ever had a plugged-ear kind of feeling? In some cases, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. In other situations, it may happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. You may even experience a temporary loss of hearing. It’s not fun!

This means that some individuals imagine they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The concept is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Individuals think that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the combination of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t recommend this approach. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. Essentially, most hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically advise against ever utilizing this approach. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

The FDA also firmly advises against this approach.

The drawbacks of ear candling

Ear candling may feel safe, initially. It’s a really small flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And there are a lot of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?

Ear candling can, unfortunately, be really dangerous and there’s no way of getting around that! What negative impacts 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 quite hot. Your ear is very sensitive and considerable burning can happen if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. This leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.
  • Your Eardrum could accidentally get pierced: There’s a danger that comes with sticking anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer considerable damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this happens it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
  • The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually force 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! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the consequence.
  • Your face could be severely burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll get a burn. Accidents will happen! Severe burns on the face are not the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.

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

So how should you remove earwax?

Ear wax is generally pretty healthy. In normal quantities, it’s good for your ears. Problems start when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?

Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax blockage. They may recommend some at-home solutions (like 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.

Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that allow them to remove wax without harming your ear.

Generally, you should stay away from techniques like using cotton swabs and earwax candling. 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

Schedule an appointment with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We can help you get back to normal by eliminating any stubborn earwax.


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.

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