Is Ear Candling Safe? Understanding The Risks And Benefits

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You might have some waxy substances that are accumulated in your ear canal. These types of components are commonly called ear wax and cerumen in scientific terms. You have to note that this sticky substance creates lots of health issues like hearing loss and earache, which can become chronic if left uncleaned.

Therefore, people use various techniques like cotton buds or consult an audiologist to get rid of such problems. Among them, one method is ear candling is becoming popular for cleaning the dibres. But the question here arises, Is ear candling safe? If you want to find out this answer, explore this article till the end.

What Is Ear Candling Supposed To Do?

You can find various tricks to clean the impurities in your ears, some of which are safe to use, whereas others may create more problems. One such technique is ear candling is believed to clean your ears by creating a vacuum. Hence, the candles that are used in this process are made of specific wax, which may include beeswax, paraffin wax, and even soy wax.

Risk Factors Of Ear Candling

Here, a specialist placed a pointed side of a candle into the ear and lit the wider side to create a mild heat to melt all the debris. It is believed that the warmth of the candle helps to create suction, which helps to pull all the cerumen and other impurities out of the canal. Hence, the process is not at all easy to execute, and therefore, it is performed by professionals.

But the question still remains to explore: Is ear candling safe for you? To coin this answer, you have to understand the scientific reason behind it, which we have discussed below.

Reality Behind Ear Candling

Ear candling sounds like a peaceful process that tends to provide a sense of calmness and warmth. Well, the reality is way farther than it looks and even too dangerous to use, which can create more problems rather than solve them. You can examine its effectiveness by knowing that till now. There is no evidence available that can suggest that candling pulls the impurities from the years.

Additionally, several scientific measurements are available to suggest that no reduction of ear wax is seen when examined and before and after candling. Some researchers also received negative reports from people who have gone through such types of procedures. They have also said that the heat produced by the candle is lower than the body temperature, which can’t create suction as it claims.

Furthermore, following the ear candling procedure has a lack of safety precautions where wax dipping can burn the skin around the ears. However, some people use a protective layer of silver foil on either side of the ear as a precaution.

The dangerous part of the procedure is that some wax and fabric sediments remain inside the ear canal, which increases the issues rather than decreases them.

Therefore, with this conclusion, we can say that ear candling is not a good procedure to clean your canal. Therefore, you need to look for alternative methods, which we have discussed below.

Risk Factors Of Ear Candling

According to scientific research and measurements, ear candling is not considered safe for clearing debris from the canal. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also suggested healthcare providers not use this method to treat their patients. As per the organization, the candle used to clean the ear can cause various injuries even when used as per the direction.

In addition, the FDA’s survey has gained several reports from people complaining about the discomfort and effectiveness of the candling. This report says people have experienced burns around the ear, perforated eardrums, and even blockage in the canal that required surgery to treat them well. In some cases, the burns have also occurred inside the ears, resulting in plug or inner ear damage.

This procedure has also damaged the eardrums in many individuals, resulting in hearing loss. With these consequences, the FDA has completely banned the use of ear candles on children. If you have ever tried the candling process without a significant injury, then make sure that it may cause you in the long run.

What Are The Alternative Way To Clean Your Ears?

Maybe you are wondering what the alternative ways to clean your ears are other than candling. Well, if you explore the internet. You will get a plethora of methods that claim to be the best to clean impurities in ear canals. We have also analyzed and experienced various methods and coined some effective techniques to clean the cerumen.

Many people use cotton buds to clean their ears, which tends to push the impurities deeper into the canal. Instead, you can use soft cotton clothes, which are dipped in warm water, and clean the inner as well as outer parts of the ears. After that, you can use the cotton swabs to swipe the extra water that is available on the surface.

You can also use eardrops instead of candles to clean the extra wax in your ears. This solution helps to loosen the cerumen which you can extract using soft clothes or cotton buds. In the same way, you can also use a few drops of baby oil that work the same as ear drops.

If you are experiencing an earache, then you must consult a doctor who can suggest a better treatment. They may even conduct surgery if the situation becomes chronic as if you are not able to hear.

Final Words

Cerumen or ear wax is a common substance that is found in the ear canal. These sticky compounds tend to grow with time. So it becomes essential to clean them to avoid any type of health issues. However, people are more inclined to use ear candling methods, which are unsafe.

The technique contributes to various ear issues which may damage your eardrums and canal. Instead, you can use soft and warm clothes or ear drops to clean the debris from the ears.

References

  • Roazen L. Why ear candling is not a good idea. North Chapel Hill, NC: Quackwatch; 2005. [Accessed 2005 Oct 31]. Available from: www.quackwatch.org.
  • Seely DR, Langman AW. Ear candles [letter] Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121(9):1068. [PubMed]

Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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