The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and go 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 by yourself.

At least, until your sink starts leaking again. Because, as it so happens, in some cases a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-honed skills of a professional.

Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep going back to. It doesn’t really sound very appealing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s dig into that.

Ear candling – what is it?

Everybody has had the feeling of a stuffy ear now and then. Sometimes, it occurs when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other cases, it might occur because you have too much 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 may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!

This means that some individuals believe they have encountered what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The concept is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). People imagine that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the combination of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.

Healthcare professionals definitely don’t encourage this technique. Do ear candles really draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no evidence 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 emphatically recommend against utilizing this practice ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

The FDA also strongly advocates against this practice.

What are the disadvantages of ear candling?

At first, ear candling might feel perfectly safe. It’s a really small flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And there are lots of people online who maintain that it’s perfectly safe. So, how can 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? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:

  • You could accidentally pierce your eardrum: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! 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.
  • Your face could be seriously burned: Look, whenever you’re positioning candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll get a burn. Everybody has accidents once in a while. Serious burns on the face are not the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
  • 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. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
  • The earwax can be crammed 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 obstruction, so too can pushing a specialized candle into your ear. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the consequence.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. If the candle tips or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some considerable burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).

So, is ear candling recommended by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just useless, it’s utterly dangerous.

A better way to handle earwax

Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. Issues start when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if making use of a candle is a bad plan?

If you have an earwax obstruction, the best thing to do may be speaking with a hearing specialist. They might recommend some at-home remedies (including using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to sort of run out by itself). But in some instances, they will perform a cleaning for you.

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

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.

How to help your ears feel better

Schedule an appointment with us if you have surplus earwax that’s causing you some distress. We will be capable of helping you clear any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment


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.


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