Looking for the best, safe ear wax removal methods? You may be worried that your ears are getting dirty, or you’ve noticed a build-up of wax. If you’re concerned, you may be considering a number of ear-cleaning methods (cotton swabs, warm oil, and so on).
Ear candling is a practice you’ve no doubt heard of (from friends and family, but never from your doctor), and one you’ve considered trying. Slow your roll! Before you give it a try, there is a lot you need to know about ear candling at home.
In this article, we’ll answer questions like:
- What is ear candling?
- Does ear candling work, or it is just another hoax?
- Are there ear candling side effects? If so, what are they?
- Is ear candling safe?
It’s all about finding the right way to clean your ears, so read on to find out everything you need to know about ear candling at home…
What is Ear Candling?
What is ear candling really? According to Wikipedia,
“Ear candling, also called ear coning or thermal-auricular therapy, is an alternative medicine practice claimed to improve general health”.
Take a hollow candle and insert one end into your ear canal.
(Already sounding pretty scary, right? A candle in your ear?)
Light the other end of the candle.
(Even scarier! A lighted flame near your ear – WHAT????)
Let the heat travel down the hollow part of the candle to melt your ear wax.
(Not liking the sound of this! Our ears are so sensitive and delicate – how can heat be good for them?)
Allow the ear wax and toxicants to drain out.
(This is the only part that sounds right!)
Sound like a safe, healthy remedy? Read on to find out more…
Ear candles (hard to believe something like this actually exists!) are made from cloth and are soaked in either paraffin or beeswax. They are designed with a narrow funnel at one end, and the other end of the candle (the cloth part) is lit.
When the fire burns, the heat travels down the hollow tube of the candle into your ear, where it melts the ear wax. Supposedly, the heat creates a vacuum, sucking the ear wax out through the tube.
There are A LOT of websites and retailers that promote the use of ear candles. You can find hundreds of places to buy them – both off and online. The literature that promotes it refers to the Hopi Indians, the Mayans, the Egyptians, and even the Tibetans.
Their goal: to get you to buy their ear candles.
But if you were to read scientific content (medical studies, journals, etc.), you’d find that the tone is VERY different!
According to Audiology, ear candles are both ineffective AND dangerous! The site debunks a number of false claims and myths about the practice:
1. Ear candles do not create a vacuum to pull residue from the ear canal. The heat may help to melt the wax, but there is no vacuum created that will “suck” the ear wax out. Studies dating as far back as 1996 prove that ear candling doesn’t do anything to get rid of the ear wax – only melts it.
2. Melted ear wax won’t simply “drain away” through the inner ear. The eardrum stops anything from getting through, including ear wax. The only way the ear wax can go is out!
3. Ear candling is not as safe as you might believe. In the next section “Eat Candling Side Effects”, we’ll take a look at a few of the VERY REAL dangers of this ear cleaning method!
The big question here is “Does ear candling remove wax?” The answer, sadly, is: heck, no!
According to WebMD, doctors have run tests and discovered that the residue present in the ear candles after burning is NOT ear wax, as originally believed. Instead, it’s just the residue of the burned beeswax or paraffin.
There is no proof that the ear candling actually removes the wax once it is melted by the heat.
Ear Candling Side Effects
Is ear candling safe? As you’ve seen above, it is not anywhere near as safe as ear candle peddlers want you to believe.
The FDA is very clear on the subject, stating:
“FDA has received reports of burns, perforated eardrums and blockage of the ear canal which required outpatient surgery from the use of ear candles. And a survey of ear, nose and throat physicians published in 1996 in the medical journal Laryngoscope reported 13 cases of burns of the ear, seven cases of wax occlusion of the ear canal, and one case of a perforated eardrum. The authors of this study also reported that the burning ear candles dripped candle wax on the eardrum of the test subjects and in a model of the ear.”
Here are some of the VERY REAL ear candling side effects to know about:
You’ve got an open flame near your face and hair, and there is melting wax dripping from the burning candle. It’s no surprise that there is a serious risk of burns to your face and hair.
However, the burns can extend to your ear canal, inner ear, and eardrum. The sensitive ear just isn’t built to take that much heat!
You think an ear wax plug is bad? Imagine what happens when melting candle wax gets into your ear! That is not an easy plug to get out.
Inserting a candle is definitely not the way to go, as there is a very real chance that you will perforate your eardrum. The result could be bleeding, swelling, and hearing loss.
Inserting ANYTHING into your ear is taking a risk!
These ear candling side effects are no joke! Ear candling can be quite hazardous to your health, so it’s not the best practice. Worst of all is the fact that you’re not seeking help for what could be a very real problem.
If you’re using an open fire to solve your ear wax problem, it probably means that you have a serious plug or wax buildup. Instead of getting safe, effective professional help from your doctor, you’re opting for a potentially foolish at-home method of ear wax removal.
If you’re looking for a safer method of ear cleaning, check out the options below…
The Safe Way to Clean Ears
Don’t run the risk of injuring or damaging your ears by ear candling! Find a safer at-home method to deal with ear wax.
Here are a few options for safe ear wax removal:
Warm up some mineral oil and place a few drops into the ear. Let it sit for a minute to melt the wax, and turn onto your side to let the softened ear wax drip out.
Hold a warm, wet washcloth on the blocked ear or, take a warm shower. Let the water gently flow into the ear. Use the tip of a warm washcloth to remove the softened wax.
Don’t use cold water. This may cause dizziness.
This product by Clear Ear offers a safe, effective method for cleaning your ears. If you need to clean your ears regularly, you’ll find it’s the best way to go.
Learn more about it by clicking on this article…
Take care of your ears, but be safe about it!
As you can see, ear candling is NOT the way to go. It can be hazardous to your health and damage your ears, so it’s best avoided. Instead, look for other, smarter methods of getting rid of excess ear wax.
Your ears are very delicate instruments, so you must take good care of them!