The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everybody loves an easy fix, particularly when the solution is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and get to work! A plumber would probably be a bit 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 begins 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 individuals keep coming 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?

Everyone has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Occasionally, it takes place when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It’s not fun!

Because of this, some people believe they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is to put the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow style of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t suggest this technique. If you’re searching for proof that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly recommend against ever utilizing this technique. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.

The FDA also strongly advises against this approach.

What are the disadvantages of ear candling?

Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s not as if it’s a giant flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And people on the internet claimed it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?

Ear candling can, regrettably, be really dangerous and there’s no way to get around that! What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just a few of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:

  • Your ear can have surplus candle wax drip in there: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the discomfort.
  • You can push that earwax even further up 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 sticking a specialized candle into your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can result in all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
  • You could seriously burn your face: There’s always a fairly good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you might burn your face. Accidents will happen! It’s all too easy for candle wax to trickle into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to become severely burned.
  • Your ear can be severely burned: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. If the candle tips or the wax goes into where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
  • Your Eardrum could accidentally get pierced: There’s a risk that comes with sticking anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer substantial damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Frequently, this is something that has to be treated by a hearing professional.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals recommend ear candling? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually really dangerous!

A better way to handle earwax

Ear wax is generally pretty healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. Issues begin when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So what should you do if making use of a candle is a bad idea?

If you have an earwax obstruction, the most beneficial thing to do might be speaking with a hearing specialist. They may advise some at-home solutions (like using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to kind of run out on its own). But they may also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

We can eliminate the wax safely with specialized tools and training.

Generally, you should stay away from techniques such as using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or doctor.

How to help your ears feel better

If excess earwax is causing you a little 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.