Everybody 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 most likely be a little 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 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 people keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound very pleasing, 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. Occasionally, it occurs when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can occur for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You may even notice a temporary loss of hearing. It kind of stinks!
Some individuals, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel solution they need. The concept is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). People think that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the mix of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
It should be immediately mentioned that ear candling isn’t advocated by healthcare professionals. If you’re searching for evidence that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. In other words, most hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically recommend against ever using this technique. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
The FDA also strongly advises against this approach.
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Ear candling may feel safe, at first. It’s not as if it’s a huge flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are plenty of people online who claim that it’s perfectly safe. So, how could ear candling 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 ear can be severely burned: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. Your ear is really sensitive and substantial burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
- Your face could be severely burned: There’s always a fairly good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you could burn your face. Accidents will happen! 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 become severely burned.
- The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually jam earwax further into the ear canal much like when you use a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can trigger all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
- Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: 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 uncomfortableness.
- You might accidentally puncture your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with pushing anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer significant damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Frequently, this is something that has to be treated by a hearing professional.
So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just useless, it’s downright dangerous.
So how should you remove earwax?
Ear wax is normally pretty healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you begin to have problems. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax blockage, the best thing to do might be speaking with a hearing specialist. They might suggest some at-home solutions (like using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of slide out by itself). But in some cases, they will do a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without harming your ear.
Generally, 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 schedule an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by eliminating any stubborn earwax.