The Truth About Ear Candling

Woman receiving ear candle treatment

Everyone loves a quick fix, especially when the solution is also a DIY fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn to fix that from a YouTube video. It might take you a little bit longer than it would take a plumber, but there’s no replacement for the gratification you feel, right?

At least, until your sink begins leaking again. Because, as it turns out, sometimes a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.

Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that individuals keep coming back to. It sounds… kind 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?

Everyone has had the feeling of a plugged ear now and then. On occasion, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. An excessive amount of earwax can also trigger this feeling and that can occur for a variety of reasons. This can sometimes be very uncomfortable. Your hearing might even temporarily go. It’s not fun!

Some people, as a result, think that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel solution they need. The concept is that a special hollow candle is placed in your ear (non-burning end). Individuals imagine that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the combination of heat and pressure changes in your ear.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t suggest this approach. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling really works and pulls out wax, you won’t find any. Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will strongly advocate against using this practice ever. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.

The FDA also firmly advocates against this practice.

The negative aspects of ear candling

At first, ear candling may seem completely safe. It’s just a tiny flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are a lot of people online who claim that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?

Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be absolutely dangerous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just some of the (potentially painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:

  • You could seriously burn your face: 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 are not the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or trickle hot wax into your eye.
  • You can leave candle wax behind in your ear: 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.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are very hot. Your ear is really sensitive and substantial burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • You may accidentally puncture your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with sticking anything in your ears! Your hearing will suffer considerable damage and discomfort if you end up puncturing your eardrum. Frequently, this is something that must be addressed by a hearing professional.
  • The earwax can be crammed 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. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the outcome.

So, is ear candling recommended by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little bit! Ultimately, earwax candling isn’t just useless, it’s downright dangerous.

So how should you remove earwax?

Earwax is actually a good thing. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining well) that you begin to have difficulty. So… if you can’t utilize a burning candle to eliminate earwax, what should you do?

If you have an earwax obstruction, the most beneficial thing to do may be speaking with a hearing specialist. They may recommend some at-home solutions (including using saline or mineral oil to loosen the wax, allowing it to sort of run out on its own). But in some instances, they will perform a cleaning for you.

Hearing specialists have special tools and training that allow them to clean out wax without damaging your ear.

It’s best to avoid things like ear candles and cotton swabs. Nothing smaller than your finger should be put into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or doctor.

Give your ears some relief

Schedule a consultation with us if you have accumulated earwax that’s causing you some discomfort. We can help you get back to normal by eliminating 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.