The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody appreciates a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, buy the recommended tools, and get to work! A plumber would probably be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it on your own.

But that feeling only continues until your sink begins leaking again. That’s because sometimes the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.

Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep going back to. It sounds… sort of gross, right? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.

Ear candling – what is it?

Have you ever had a stuffy-ear kind of feeling? Sometimes, it happens when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other instances, it might happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You might even notice a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It’s no fun!

Some people, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel solution they need. The concept is to put 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 within your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

It should be immediately mentioned that ear candling isn’t encouraged by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against utilizing this technique ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? Essentially, don’t do it!)

What are the disadvantages of ear candling?

At first, ear candling might seem completely safe. It’s not like it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And individuals on the internet said it was safe! So, how can ear candling be harmful?

Sadly, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:

  • 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.
  • Your face could be seriously burned: Look, any time you’re positioning 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 dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are very 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 location).
  • The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually force 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! This can lead to all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
  • Your Eardrum could accidentally get punctured: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! Your hearing will suffer significant damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will have to get professional help.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals advocate ear candling? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only useless, it’s downright dangerous.

So how should you eliminate earwax?

Ear wax is typically rather healthy. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. Problems begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad plan?

If you have an earwax obstruction, the best thing to do may be talking to a hearing specialist. They might advise 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 they may also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without damaging your ear.

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

How to help your ears feel better

If surplus earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or misery, you should make an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by removing 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.