Do Ear Candles Work? All Your Questions Answered and More

Many people have the misconception that we have to remove our earwax daily. The truth is earwax is necessary for your ears. It lubricates your inner ears and protects your ear canal from bacteria and fungus. And the human body — ears included — is designed to have its cleaning system and will thus remove the earwax naturally when needed.

Occasionally, however, you may need to intervene. This is where ear candling, a unique ear-cleaning technique, comes into play. But is warming your ear using a candle really effective? Do ear candles work? Let’s find out!

What Are Ear Candles?

Ear Candles

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Ear candles are the primary tool used for ear candling, which is a specific technique of removing ear wax by placing a hollow candle in your ear.

Also called ear coning, the ear candling process uses candles that are tubes approximately 10 inches in length. They are often referred to as auricular candles or ear cones. Usually, these tubes are made of linen or cotton and are winded to form a cone. They are then hardened by soaking them in soy wax, paraffin, or beeswax.

So, how does ear candling work?

Usually, a beauty salon specialist, a massage therapist, or a herbalist will be the ones doing the ear candling.
During the ear candling session, you will be asked to lie on your side. The practitioner will then place the candle through a hole in a piece of paper. This paper helps protect your ear and skin and will also catch the dripping beeswax and help prevent burns from the hot wax.

They will then place the candle into your external ear canal and will light the candle while one end is inside your ear.

As the candle burns, it is trimmed repeatedly, and the ear candling session concludes when the candle remains just several inches away from your head. It often takes several minutes for the entire candle to burn. Rest assured that the practitioner will be keeping a watchful eye throughout the process.

They will then remove the candle, put out the flame, and wipe your outer ear clean using a cotton pad.
The goal here is for the ear candle to warm up and soften the earwax and dirt that has accumulated inside your ear, making it easier to clean.

You’ll be interested to learn that ear candles are not a new invention. This thermos-auricular therapy can be traced back to ancient times and was used by Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans to encourage spiritual healing.

North Arizona’s Native American Hopi tribe is well-known for its knowledge of therapeutic healing practices. And ear candles are one of their treatments, but other techniques accompany it.

Do Ear Candles Have Any Health Benefits?

Many who have experienced ear candling have stated that their ears feel cleaner after the session, and some opt for this candling method because it is a pain-free way to clean out your ears.

While these benefits are only based on selected experiences, ear candling is known for being an overall beneficial experience. Although there still needs to be precise documentation about its benefits to your ears and overall health.

But based on the manufacturers of the ear candles and the general practitioners of this alternative ear cleaning technique, here are some of the common benefits of ear candling:

  1. Boosts mental clarity
  2. Gets rid of bacteria, wax, and other accumulated debris from your ear canal
  3. Helps treat sinus infection
  4. Helps with flu and colds
  5. Helps with lymphatic circulation
  6. Improves hearing
  7. Improves vision
  8. Minimizes stress and tension
  9. Minimizes any pain felt in your jaw
  10. Purifies blood
  11. Reverses hearing loss
  12. Reduces vertigo
  13. Relieves sore throat, migraine, and headache

Note that these supposed benefits are all unfounded. The manufacturers attest that, as the candle burns, it will create the warmth or heat needed that can function as a suction to pull earwax out of your ear canal. And removing all the wax buildup can then lead to all the other benefits.

Do Ear Candles Really Work?

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People who have experienced ear candling have largely found it to be an effective technique to get accumulated earwax out of your ears with minimal effort.

However, the American Academy of Otolaryngology is not the biggest fan of ear candling. The organization has argued that there is a lack of scientific evidence regarding the efficiency of this process. There is also a high risk of getting burnt by the actual candle.

Other risks that outweigh the efficiency of ear candling are as follows:

  1. Getting your eardrum torn if the candle is incorrectly placed or if the pressure applied is too strong
  2. Possibility of hearing loss
  3. Likely formation of blockage in your ear canal due to the dripping wax
  4. Developing outer ear infection of otitis externa

Even if you follow the directions provided by the manufacturer and take additional precautionary measures like using a catching plate and setting towels on your face and neck, ear candling is still a dangerous and risky practice.

You also have to be extra careful when disposing of the ear candle trimmings because lit candles can always start a fire. And your earwax will be the least of your worries when this happens.

Additionally, ear candling is not for everyone. Babies and children below four should not be subjected to this treatment. And if you already have existing issues with your ear, like a damaged eardrum, it’s best to steer clear of ear candling and instead head to your doctor to have your ears cleaned if needed.

It is also best to note that cleaning your earwax is unnecessary, especially if your ears work properly. So, if you are not feeling any discomfort or pain, leave your earwax alone because it serves a purpose inside your ear.

Consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any discomfort with your ears so they can conduct a proper examination and diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan if needed.

Diane McGee

Diane enjoys cooking, reading, and writing at her desk. She loves to let her words captivate the world and writes regularly for online publications. Diane also enjoys teaching kids during her free time.

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