The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everybody loves a quick fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. A plumber would probably be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that sense of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it by yourself.

But that feeling only continues until your sink starts to leak again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute 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 coming back to. It doesn’t really sound that appealing, does it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.

Ear candling – what is it?

Everyone has had the feeling of a stuffy ear from time to time. Sometimes, it happens when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. Too much earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can occur for a number of reasons. This can sometimes be really uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!

As a result, some individuals imagine they have encountered what seems to be a natural and novel option: ear candling. The idea is that a special hollow candle is put into your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the blend of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t encourage this approach. If you’re looking for proof that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t find any. Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against using this practice ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

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

What are the disadvantages of ear candling?

Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s just a tiny flame. And you’re utilizing “specialized” equipment. 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 dangerous?

Sadly, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What are the negative effects of ear candling? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:

  • You might accidentally puncture your eardrum: There’s a risk that comes with sticking anything in your ears! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing substantial discomfort and damage to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that needs to be treated by a hearing professional.
  • Your ear can have surplus candle wax drip in there: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. This leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, affect your hearing.
  • Your face could be severely burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll get a burn. Everybody has accidents now and then. 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 get severely burned.
  • The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually force 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 result in all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. 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 spot).

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

A better way to deal with earwax

Ear wax is typically rather healthy. In normal amounts, it’s good for your ears. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining well) that you begin to have difficulty. 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. They might suggest some at-home remedies (including using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to kind of slide out on its own). But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

We can get rid of the wax safely with specialized tools and training.

Generally, you should avoid 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.

How to help your ears feel better

If excess earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or misery, you should make an appointment with us. We will be able to help you remove 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.