The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody likes a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? Just search YouTube for the ideal plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and get to work! 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 on your own.

But that feeling only lasts until your sink begins to leak again. Because, as it so happens, in some cases a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-honed skills of a professional.

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

What is ear candling?

Everyone has had the feeling of a stuffy ear now and then. Sometimes, it occurs when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other instances, it may occur because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). When this occurs, you may experience a certain amount of discomfort. You may even notice a temporary loss in your ability to hear. It sort of stinks!

As a result, some individuals imagine they have found 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. Individuals think that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the combination of heat and pressure changes in your ear.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t encourage this approach. Do ear candles really draw wax out? No. There’s positively no proof that ear candling is effective (particularly not in the way that it’s supposed to work). In other words, the vast majority of hearing and healthcare professionals will emphatically recommend against ever utilizing this technique. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

The FDA also firmly advocates against this approach.

The drawbacks of ear candling

Initially, ear candling might feel completely safe. It’s not like it’s a huge flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are plenty of people online who claim that it’s perfectly safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?

Ear candling can, unfortunately, be really hazardous and there’s no way of getting around that! What are the negative effects of ear candling? Here are just some of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:

  • Your Eardrum might accidentally get punctured: There’s a danger that comes with pushing anything in your ears! You might accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating significant discomfort and harm to your hearing. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will have to get professional help.
  • 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 use a cotton swab. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can cause all kinds of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
  • Your ear can have surplus candle wax drip in there: 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.
  • You can severely burn your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. If the tip of the candle 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 severely burned: Look, any time you’re positioning candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll get a burn. Accidents will happen! Severe burns on the face are not the only hazards, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.

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

So how should you clear away earwax?

Ear wax is generally rather healthy. In normal amounts, it’s beneficial for your ears. Problems start when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t drain effectively. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad plan?

If you have an earwax blockage, the best thing to do may be talking to a hearing specialist. They might suggest some at-home remedies (like using saline or mineral oil to soften the wax, allowing it to kind of slide out by itself). But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.

We can eliminate the wax safely with specialty tools and training.

In general, you should stay away from techniques such as utilizing cotton swabs and earwax candling. Nothing smaller than your finger should go into your ears unless directed by your hearing specialist or doctor.

How to help your ears feel better

If accumulated earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or distress, you should schedule an appointment with us. We will be able to help you clear 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.

Stop struggling to hear conversations. Come see us today. Call or Text