The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everybody loves a quick fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, go get the recommended 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 by yourself.

But that feeling only continues until your sink begins leaking again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.

It isn’t always easy to acknowledge that this is the case. And, in part, that’s why people will often continue to seek out “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which might help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It sounds… kind of gross, doesn’t it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.

What is ear candling?

Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? Occasionally, it takes place when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other instances, 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 may experience some discomfort. You might even experience a temporary loss of hearing. It’s no fun!

Some people, because of this, believe that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel solution they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is put in your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure within your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t suggest this practice. If you’re searching for proof that ear candling really works and draws out wax, you won’t find any. Essentially, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly recommend against ever utilizing this technique. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

The FDA also strongly advocates against this practice.

The negative aspects of ear candling

Ear candling may feel safe, at first. It’s a really small flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. And individuals on the internet said it was safe! So, how can ear candling be dangerous?

Ear candling can, unfortunately, be quite 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 impact your health:

  • Your ear can be severely burned: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. If the tip of the candle or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive location).
  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can go into your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
  • You could severely burn your face: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong 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 trickle hot wax into your eye.
  • You can jam that earwax 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 sticking 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.
  • You might accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with pushing anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer considerable damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. If this takes place it’s very likely that you will need to get professional help.

So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t simply ineffective, it’s utterly dangerous.

A better way to Tackle earwax

Ear wax is generally pretty healthy. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. Problems begin when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. They may advise some at-home alternatives (like using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to sort of slide 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.

Generally, you should stay away from techniques such as utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good policy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.

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 eliminating 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.