The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everybody loves a quick fix, particularly when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? 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 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 successfully substituted for a quick fix.

Sometimes, that’s difficult 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 that appealing, does it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.

What is ear candling?

Everyone has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Sometimes, it happens when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other situations, it may happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have any number of causes). This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. You might even notice a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It’s not 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 placed in your ear (non-burning end). People believe that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the mix of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t suggest this technique. If you’re searching for proof that ear candling actually works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. In other words, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advocate against ever utilizing this technique. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

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

The negative aspects of ear candling

At first, ear candling may seem perfectly safe. It’s not like it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are plenty of people online who claim that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?

Ear candling can, regrettably, be quite hazardous and there’s no way of getting around that! What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and potentially painful ways:

  • Your ear can be seriously burned: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. 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).
  • The earwax can be pushed 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 blockage, so too can pushing a specialized candle into your ear. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
  • Your ear can have residual candle wax left behind: 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.
  • Your face could be severely burned: There’s always a fairly good chance that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you could burn your face. Accidents will happen! Serious burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
  • Your Eardrum may accidentally get punctured: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself at risk! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, creating considerable discomfort and harm to your hearing. Often, this is something that must be treated by a hearing professional.

So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only ineffective, it’s downright dangerous.

So how should you get rid of earwax?

Ear wax is typically pretty healthy. 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 correctly) that you begin to have difficulty. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad plan?

Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a persistent earwax obstruction. Typically, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to run out on its own. But in some instances, they will perform a cleaning for you.

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

It’s best to avoid things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good policy 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 discomfort. 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.