Everyone loves an easy fix, especially when the solution is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, buy the suggested tools, and get to work! It might take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the gratification you feel, right?
At least, until your sink starts leaking again. Because, as it turns out, in some cases a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.
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 very appealing, does it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.
Ear candling – what is it?
Have you ever had a plugged-ear kind of feeling? Sometimes, it happens when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other situations, it may occur because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). When this occurs, you may experience some discomfort. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!
Some individuals, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the cheap and novel solution they need. The idea is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow style of the candle changes the air pressure within your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.
Healthcare professionals definitely don’t suggest this practice. If you’re searching for proof that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. Essentially, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advise against ever utilizing this practice. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
The FDA also firmly advocates against this approach.
The drawbacks of ear candling
Ear candling may feel safe, at first. It’s a really small flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. 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 harmful?
Ear candling can, regrettably, be quite hazardous and there’s no way of getting around that! What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just a few of the (potentially 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 very hot. Your ear is extremely sensitive and considerable burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
- 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. This leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
- The earwax can be crammed 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 obstruction, so too can sticking a specialized candle in your ear. 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 severe infections.
- Your face could be severely burned: Look, any time you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll get a burn. Accidents will happen! Severe burns on the face aren’t the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
- Your Eardrum might accidentally get punctured: There’s a danger that comes with pushing anything in your ears! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, causing considerable discomfort and harm to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that needs to be treated by a hearing professional.
So, is ear candling recommended by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually really dangerous!
So how should you get rid of earwax?
Earwax is actually a good thing. 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 well) that you begin to have difficulty. So what should you do if making use of a candle is a bad strategy?
Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax blockage. Usually, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to run out on its own. But in some instances, 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.
It’s best to steer clear of things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good plan to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
Give your ears some relief
If excess earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or misery, you should schedule an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by removing any stubborn earwax.