The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everyone loves a quick fix, especially when the fix is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the ideal plumbing tutorial, buy 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 replacement 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 hard to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep going back to. It sounds… sort of gross, doesn’t 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 sort of feeling? Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a variety of reasons. This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. You may even experience a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!

Some people, as a result, think that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel fix they need. The concept is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle in your ear. Somehow, the combination of heat and the hollow design of the candle alters the air pressure within your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals definitely don’t recommend this technique. Do ear candles actually pull wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Essentially, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically advocate against ever using this approach. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

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

The negative aspects of ear candling

At first, ear candling may feel completely safe. It’s not as if it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are plenty of people online who maintain that it’s perfectly safe. So, how can ear candling be harmful?

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

  • You can jam that earwax even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle into your ear can actually push earwax further into the ear canal much like when you use a cotton swab. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the consequence.
  • Your Eardrum may accidentally get pierced: There’s a danger that comes with inserting anything in your ears! You might accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing considerable discomfort and harm to your hearing. Often, this is something that needs to be treated by a hearing professional.
  • You can severely burn your ear: Fire is hot, melting wax is too. If the candle tips or the wax gets where it’s not supposed to, you’re facing some significant burning possibilities in your ear (and your ear is a sensitive spot).
  • Your face could be seriously burned: There’s always a fairly good chance that if you’re holding a flame up near your ear, you might burn your face. Accidents will happen! Severe 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 ear can have residual candle wax drip in there: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can go into your ears. This Leftover wax can cause significant discomfort and, eventually, impact your hearing.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals advocate ear candling? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t only useless, it’s utterly dangerous.

A better way to Tackle earwax

Ear wax is normally rather healthy. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. Issues begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad idea?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax obstruction. Normally, they will recommend 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 circumstances, they will do a cleaning for you.

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

In general, you should avoid techniques like utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or physician.

How to help your ears feel better

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