DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn to fix that from a YouTube video. It might take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no substitute for the satisfaction you feel, right?
At least, until your sink starts to leak again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.
Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. And, to some extent, that’s why people will frequently continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very 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 now and then. In some cases, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. In other instances, it may occur because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). When this takes place, you may experience some discomfort. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!
As a result, some people imagine they have found what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle inside of your ear. Individuals think that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the combination of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
It should be quickly mentioned that ear candling is not encouraged by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (particularly not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against using this technique ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? Essentially, don’t do it!)
What are the drawbacks of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s not as if it’s a giant flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And individuals on the internet said it was safe! So, how could ear candling be dangerous?
Sadly, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:
- Your Eardrum may accidentally get punctured: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! Your hearing will suffer significant harm and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this happens it’s very likely that you will need to get professional help.
- Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can go into your ears. This Leftover wax can cause acute discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
- The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can pack the earwax into an ever-more-dense blockage, so too can inserting a specialized candle in 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 consequence.
- Your ear can be severely burned: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. If the tip of the candle 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 location).
- Your face could be seriously burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll get a burn. 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 get seriously burned.
So, do hearing healthcare professionals endorse ear candling? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only ineffective, it’s utterly dangerous.
So how should you eliminate 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 issues. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?
If you have an earwax blockage, the best thing to do might be talking to a hearing specialist. They may advise some at-home alternatives (such as using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of run out by itself). But in some situations, they will do a cleaning for you.
Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without injuring your ear.
It’s best to avoid things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or physician.
Give your ears some relief
If accumulated earwax is causing you a little discomfort or distress, you should schedule an appointment with us. We will be able to help you clean any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.