The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everybody loves an easy fix, especially when the solution is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the right plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and get to work! It may 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 continues until your sink starts leaking again. That’s because sometimes the skill and experience of a professional can’t be effectively substituted for a quick fix.

It’s not always easy to admit that this is the situation. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep coming back to. It sounds… sort of gross, right? 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, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re ill. In other cases, it may happen because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. You may even notice a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It’s not fun!

As a result, some individuals believe they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The idea is that a special hollow candle is placed into your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the combination of heat and the hollow style of the candle alters the air pressure within your ear canal, drawing the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals definitely don’t encourage this technique. If you’re searching for evidence that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t uncover any. Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against utilizing this strategy ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

The FDA also firmly advises against this approach.

What are the downsides of ear candling?

Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s just a tiny flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And individuals on the internet claimed it was safe! So how could it be possible for ear candling to be harmful?

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

  • 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. 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 seriously burned.
  • 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 discomfort.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are quite hot. If the candle tips or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re looking at some substantial burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
  • Your Eardrum could accidentally get punctured: Whenever you put something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing significant discomfort and harm to your hearing. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will have to get professional assistance.
  • The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually jam earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax problem worse! This can trigger all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to severe infections.

So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually quite dangerous!

A better way to handle earwax

Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. Problems begin when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So… if you can’t make use of a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?

Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax blockage. Normally, 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 they might also clean out your ear during your visit.

Hearing specialists have special tools and training that let them clean out wax without damaging your ear.

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

Give your ears some relief

Schedule an appointment with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. 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.