The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn to fix that from a YouTube video. It may take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no substitute for the gratification you feel, right?

But that feeling only lasts until your sink begins to leak again. Because, as it so happens, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-honed skills of a professional.

It’s not always easy to acknowledge that this is the situation. And, in part, that’s why individuals will often continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very pleasing, does it? Let’s dive into just what earwax candling is and its dangers.

Ear candling – what is it?

Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Occasionally, it occurs when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other situations, it might happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have any number of causes). When this occurs, you might experience some discomfort. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. 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 that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). People believe that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the mix of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.

It should be immediately recognized that ear candling is not advocated by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically advocate against ever using this practice. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

The FDA also strongly advises against this approach.

What are the drawbacks of ear candling?

Initially, ear candling might seem completely safe. It’s a really small flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And people on the internet said it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?

Ear candling can, unfortunately, be really hazardous and there’s no way of getting around that! What are the negative effects of ear candling? Here are just a few of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:

  • The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually push 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! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
  • You could seriously burn your face: There’s always a fairly good chance that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you could burn your face. Accidents will happen! Serious burns on the face are not the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
  • You can severely burn your ear: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. Your ear is extremely sensitive and significant burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • Your Eardrum might accidentally get pierced: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating substantial discomfort and damage to your hearing. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will have to get professional help.
  • Your ear can have residual candle wax drip in there: 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 discomfort.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals recommend ear candling? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only ineffective, it’s utterly dangerous.

A better way to Tackle 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 properly) that you begin to have problems. So what should you do if making use of a candle is a bad plan?

If you have an earwax blockage, the most beneficial thing to do may be talking to a hearing specialist. They might advise some at-home remedies (like using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of run out by itself). But they may also clean out your ear during your visit.

We can get rid of the wax safely with specialty tools and training.

In general, you should avoid techniques like utilizing 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 clearing away 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.