Everybody loves an easy fix, particularly when the fix is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn to fix that from a YouTube video. 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 lasts 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.
It’s not always easy to acknowledge that this is the situation. And, in part, that’s why individuals will frequently continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which might help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very pleasing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.
Ear candling – what is it?
Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. An excessive amount of earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a variety of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It’s not fun!
This means that some individuals believe they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow style of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.
It should be quickly noted that ear candling is not advocated by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s positively no evidence that ear candling is effective (particularly not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will emphatically advocate against utilizing this technique ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
The FDA also strongly advises against this approach.
The negative aspects of ear candling
Ear candling may feel safe, at first. It’s just a tiny flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And individuals on the internet said it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be quite dangerous and there’s no way of getting around that! What negative affects can ear candling have? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:
- Your Eardrum may accidentally get punctured: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! Your hearing will suffer significant 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.
- You could severely burn your face: There’s always a pretty good chance that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you might burn your face. Everybody has accidents now and then. 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 severely burn your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are quite hot. If the candle tips or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
- The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: Inserting an ear candle inside your ear can actually force earwax further into the ear canal much like when you use a cotton swab. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! This can trigger all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
- You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can go into your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the discomfort.
So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually very dangerous!
So how should you remove earwax?
Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s good for your ears. Problems begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad plan?
If you have an earwax blockage, the best thing to do may be speaking with a hearing specialist. Typically, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to drip out by itself. But in some situations, they will perform a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that let them clean out wax without harming your ear.
It’s best to steer clear of things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or physician.
How to help your ears feel better
If excess earwax is causing you a little discomfort or misery, you should make an appointment with us. We will be able to help you remove any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.