What You Should Know About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage these days and everyone appreciates a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, buy the recommended tools, and get to work! 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. That’s because in some cases the skill and experience of a professional can’t be effectively substituted for a quick fix.

It’s not always easy to acknowledge that this is the situation. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep coming back to. It sounds… sort of gross, right? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.

What is ear candling?

Everyone has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Sometimes, it takes place when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other cases, it may happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). When this happens, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. You might even notice a temporary loss of hearing. It’s no fun!

Because of this, some individuals think they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The concept is that a special hollow candle is placed into your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow style of the candle changes the air pressure within your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

It should be immediately mentioned that ear candling isn’t encouraged by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles actually draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (particularly not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly recommend against ever utilizing this approach. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? In essence, don’t do it!)

What are the downsides of ear candling?

Initially, ear candling might seem perfectly safe. It’s a really small flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And individuals on the internet said it was safe! So, how can ear candling be dangerous?

Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright dangerous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:

  • You could seriously burn your face: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll burn yourself. Everyone has accidents now and then. Severe burns on the face aren’t the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
  • Your ear can be severely burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. Your ear is extremely sensitive and considerable burning can happen if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
  • You can push that earwax 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 inserting a specialized candle into your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax problem worse! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. This Leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
  • You might accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with sticking anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer significant damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Often, this is something that must be addressed by a hearing professional.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals advocate ear candling? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t simply ineffective, it’s utterly dangerous.

So how should you eliminate earwax?

Ear wax is generally rather healthy. In normal quantities, it’s good for your ears. Issues begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax blockage. They may suggest some at-home alternatives (including 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 while you’re in the office.

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

It’s best to steer clear of things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or doctor.

Give your ears some relief

Schedule a consultation with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some distress. We can help you get back to normal by removing 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.