What You Need to Know About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

DIY is all the rage nowadays and everybody appreciates a quick easy fix. Got a leaky sink? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. It may take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no substitute for the satisfaction you feel, right?

But that feeling only continues until your sink begins to leak again. That’s because sometimes the skill and experience of a professional can’t be successfully substituted for a quick fix.

It’s not always easy to admit that this is the case. And, in part, that’s why individuals will often continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for intricate problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, sometimes, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound that appealing, does it? Let’s dive into just what earwax candling is and its dangers.

What is ear candling?

Have you ever had a stuffy-ear kind of feeling? Occasionally, it occurs when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other situations, it may happen because you have too much earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have any number of causes). When this takes place, you might experience a certain amount of discomfort. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It kind of stinks!

Because of this, some individuals believe they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The concept is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow design of the candle changes the air pressure within your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

It should be immediately noted that ear candling isn’t advocated by healthcare professionals. Do ear candles really pull wax out? No. There’s absolutely no proof that ear candling works (particularly not in the way that it’s supposed to work). In other words, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advise against ever utilizing this technique. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.

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

What are the disadvantages of ear candling?

Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s not as if 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 harmful?

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

  • The earwax can be crammed even further into your ear: Putting an ear candle inside your ear can actually force earwax further into the ear canal much like when you utilize a cotton swab. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the result.
  • You may accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a risk that comes with sticking anything in your ears! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing significant discomfort and damage to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that must be treated by a hearing professional.
  • You could seriously burn your face: Look, any time you’re positioning candles that close to your face, there’s a strong possibility you’ll get a burn. Accidents will happen! It’s all too easy for candle wax to drip into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to become severely burned.
  • You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are very hot. Your ear is really sensitive and considerable burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: Even if you don’t get burned, surplus ear candle wax can get left behind in your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the discomfort.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals recommend ear candling? No… not even a little! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually really dangerous!

A better way to handle earwax

Ear wax is usually pretty healthy. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. Problems begin when there’s too much earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So… if you can’t use a burning candle to get rid of earwax, what should you do?

Talk to a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax blockage. Typically, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, like a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to run out on its own. But in some cases, they will do a cleaning for you.

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

It’s best to avoid things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good policy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.

How to help your ears feel better

If accumulated earwax is causing you a little discomfort or misery, you should make an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by removing 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.