DIY is all the rage these days and everyone appreciates a quick easy fix. Sink Leaking? You can learn about how to fix that from a YouTube video. 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.
At least, until your sink begins to leak again. Because, as it turns out, in some cases a DIY fix is no substitute for the well-honed skills of a professional.
Sometimes, that’s hard to admit. And, to some extent, that’s why individuals will often continue to look for “easy” DIY-fixes for complex problems, which may help explain the popularity of something called ear candling (or, in some cases, earwax candling). It doesn’t really sound very appealing, does it? So, exactly what is ear candling, and how is it probably not the best thing ever? Well, let’s get into that.
Ear candling – what is it?
Have you ever had a plugged-ear sort of feeling? Sometimes, your ear will fill with mucus when you’re sick. Too much earwax can also cause this feeling and that can happen for a number of reasons. When this takes place, you might experience some discomfort. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It’s no fun!
This means that some individuals think they have discovered what seems to be a natural and novel solution: ear candling. The concept is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle inside of your ear. People think that the wax and mucus are drawn out by the mix of heat and pressure changes inside your ear.
It should be immediately noted that ear candling isn’t encouraged by healthcare professionals. If you’re looking for evidence that ear candling actually works and draws out wax, you won’t find any. In other words, most hearing and healthcare professionals will strongly advocate against ever utilizing this approach. Ear candling also doesn’t help with sinus pressure.
The FDA also firmly advocates against this approach.
What are the disadvantages of ear candling?
Ear candling might feel safe, at first. It’s not as if it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are a lot of people online who maintain that it’s perfectly safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?
Unfortunately, there’s no mistaking the fact that ear candling can be downright hazardous. What negative affects can ear candling have? Here are just some of the (possibly painful) ways that ear candling can affect your health:
- Your Eardrum may accidentally get pierced: Whenever you insert something into your ear, you put yourself in danger! You may accidentally pierce your eardrum, creating substantial discomfort and harm to your hearing. Frequently, this is something that needs to be treated by a hearing professional.
- The earwax can be pushed even further into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can smoosh the earwax into an ever-more-dense blockage, so too can pushing a specialized candle in your ear. Your earwax problem can be worsened by earwax candling, in other words! Other complications, from hearing loss to ear infections can also be the consequence.
- You can cause severe burns to your ear: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are quite hot. Your ear is really sensitive and considerable burning can take place if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
- Your ear can have residual candle wax drip in there: Even if you don’t get burned, residual ear candle wax can go into your ears. Your hearing can become impacted from this, not to mention the discomfort.
- Your face could be seriously burned: Look, whenever you’re holding candles that close to your face, there’s a good possibility you’ll burn yourself. Everyone has accidents now and then. Serious burns on the face aren’t the only dangers, you could also catch your hair on fire or drip hot wax into your eye.
So, is ear candling endorsed by hearing healthcare professionals? No… not even a little! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually quite dangerous!
A better way to handle earwax
Earwax is actually a good thing. It’s helpful for your ears in normal quantities. It’s only when there’s an excessive amount of earwax (or it isn’t draining correctly) that you start to have problems. So what should you do if utilizing a candle is a bad strategy?
Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn 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 run out on its own. But they may also clean out your ear while you’re in the office.
Hearing specialists have specific tools and training that let them remove wax without injuring your ear.
In general, you should avoid techniques like using cotton swabs and earwax candling. Unless your hearing specialist says differently, it’s a good plan to never put anything smaller than your finger in your ear.
Give your ears some relief
If surplus earwax is causing you a little discomfort or misery, you should make an appointment with us. We will be capable of helping you remove any stubborn earwax out of your ears and get you back to feeling normal.