Everyone loves a quick fix, especially when the solution is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? Just search YouTube for the ideal plumbing tutorial, go get the suggested tools, and go to work! A plumber would most likely be a bit more efficient but then you wouldn’t get that feeling of self-satisfaction that comes with doing it on your own.
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 effectively substituted for a quick fix.
Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. And, to some extent, that’s why people will frequently 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 sounds… sort of gross, right? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.
What is ear candling?
Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Occasionally, it takes place when you’re sick and your ear fills with mucus. In other instances, it may happen because you have too much earwax in your ears (and too much earwax can have a variety of causes). This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It sort of stinks!
Some people, as a result, think that ear candling is just the cheap and novel solution they need. The idea is that a special hollow candle is put in your ear (non-burning end). People believe that the wax and mucus are pulled out by the blend of heat and pressure changes in your ear.
It should be immediately recognized that ear candling isn’t recommended by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for proof that ear candling actually works and draws out wax, you won’t uncover any. Almost every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly recommend against utilizing this technique ever. Ear candling also has no effect on sinus pressure.
Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA advising about ear candling? In essence, don’t do it!)
What are the downsides of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, initially. It’s a really small flame. And you’re using “specialized” equipment. And there are lots of people online who claim that it’s perfectly safe. So, how can ear candling be dangerous?
Ear candling can, unfortunately, be very hazardous and there’s no way of getting around that! What are the side effects of ear candling? Ear candling can affect your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:
- You can cause severe burns to your ear: Fire is hot, and so is melting candle wax. Your ear is extremely sensitive and substantial burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets someplace it shouldn’t.
- Your Eardrum might accidentally get punctured: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, causing significant discomfort and harm to your hearing. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will have to get professional help.
- You can push that earwax 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. Your earwax issue can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.
- Your face could be seriously burned: There’s always a fairly good chance that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you might burn your face. Everyone has accidents once in a while. It’s all too easy for candle wax to trickle into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to get seriously burned.
- 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.
So, is ear candling approved by hearing healthcare professionals? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not practical, it’s actually very dangerous!
A better way to Tackle earwax
Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s good for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s too much earwax (or it isn’t draining properly) that you start to have difficulty. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to remove earwax, what should you do?
Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a persistent 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 by itself. But they might also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.
Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clear away wax without harming your ear.
It’s best to avoid things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good strategy to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
How to help your ears feel better
If excess earwax is causing you a bit of discomfort or distress, you should schedule an appointment with us. We will be capable of helping you clear any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.