What You Should Know About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage these days and everyone likes a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the ideal plumbing tutorial, buy the recommended tools, and get to work! It may take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the satisfaction you feel, right?

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

It’s not always easy to admit that this is the case. And, in part, that’s why individuals will often continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which might help explain the popularity of something known as ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very pleasing, does it? So, just what is ear candling, and how is it maybe not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.

Ear candling – what is it?

Have you ever had a stuffy-ear kind of feeling? Sometimes, it takes place when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other instances, it may occur because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have a variety of causes). When this takes place, you might experience some discomfort. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It’s not fun!

Because of this, some individuals imagine they have encountered 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 inside of your ear. Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow design of the candle changes the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t encourage this practice. Do ear candles actually draw wax out? No. There’s absolutely no evidence that ear candling is effective (especially not in the way that it’s claimed to work). Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against utilizing this practice ever. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.

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

Ear candling may feel safe, at first. It’s just a tiny flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are lots of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So, how can ear candling be dangerous?

Ear candling can, regrettably, be very hazardous and there’s no way to get around that! What are the side effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can impact your health:

  • The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually push earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can trigger all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: The candle wax can get into your ears even if you don’t get burned. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the uncomfortableness.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. Your ear is really sensitive and considerable burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • Your face could be seriously burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll burn yourself. Everybody has accidents now and then. Serious burns on the face are not the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
  • Your Eardrum might accidentally get pierced: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! Your hearing will suffer considerable 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.

So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just ineffective, it’s utterly dangerous.

So how should you get rid of earwax?

Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal amounts, it’s beneficial for your ears. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you begin to have difficulty. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?

Consult a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax obstruction. Normally, they will suggest that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to soften the wax allowing it to drip out on its own. But in some situations, they will perform a cleaning for you.

We can remove the wax safely with specialty 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

If accumulated earwax is causing you a little discomfort or distress, you should make 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.


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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