Everybody loves a quick fix, particularly when the solution is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, go get the recommended tools, and go to work! It may take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the gratification you feel, right?
But that feeling only lasts until your sink starts leaking again. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully 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 people keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound that pleasing, does it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.
Ear candling – what is it?
Everybody has had the feeling of a stuffy ear from time to time. On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. In other cases, it might occur because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have any number of causes). This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!
This means that some individuals imagine they have found 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 inside of 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.
Healthcare professionals definitely don’t encourage this approach. If you’re searching for evidence that ear candling actually works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. In other words, most hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically recommend against ever utilizing this approach. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? In essence, don’t do it!)
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s not as if it’s a giant flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And there are plenty of people online who claim that it’s perfectly safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be really dangerous and there’s no way to get around that! What are the side effects of ear candling? Here are just a few of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:
- You can cause severe burns to 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 considerable burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
- Your ear can have surplus candle wax left behind: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
- 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 blockage, so too can pushing a specialized candle in your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can lead to all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.
- Your face could be severely burned: There’s always a pretty good chance that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you might burn your face. Everyone has accidents once in a while. 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.
- Your Eardrum might accidentally get pierced: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing significant discomfort and damage to your hearing. If this takes place it’s very likely that you will have to get professional help.
So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually quite dangerous!
So how should you get rid of earwax?
Ear wax is usually pretty healthy. 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 what should you do if making use of a candle is a bad strategy?
Consult a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax obstruction. They might recommend some at-home remedies (such as using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of slide out by itself). But in some circumstances, they will perform a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that let them clear away wax without harming your ear.
In general, you should avoid techniques like utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or doctor.
Give your ears some relief
If surplus earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or distress, 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.