Why Ear Candling is not a Recommended Procedure
Ear candling is a procedure that involves inserting a hollow candle into the ear canal and igniting it, with the intention of removing ear wax and other impurities. However, this practice is not recommended by medical professionals due to the potential risks and lack of evidence supporting its effectiveness.
Risk Factors Associated with Ear Candling
One of the main dangers of ear candling and it’s use to remove ear wax, is the risk of injury to the ear canal and eardrum. The heat from the candle can cause burns or even perforate the eardrum, leading to hearing loss or other complications. Additionally, the melted wax from the candle can drip into the ear canal and cause blockages or infections.
Furthermore, there is little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of ear candling in removing ear wax or improving hearing. In fact, studies have shown that ear candling can actually push wax deeper into the ear canal, making it more difficult to remove and potentially causing further damage.
So, what is all the gunk that is seemingly extracted out of the ear canal? It’s not ear wax, but rather the candle wax that was dripped into the ear in the first place.
How Should You Be Cleaning Your Ears?
You might be wondering how you should be cleaning your ears. The good news is, you don’t really need to clean your ear wax unless it is causing pain, hearing loss, tinnitus, nausea and other discomforts. Ear wax is healthy for the ear and has some benefits. Ear wax has anti-microbial properties, and prevents debris from migrating deep into the canal, it also helps keep the ear lubricated. Unless your ear wax is problematic, it is likely you can leave your ear wax just the way it is.
If your ear wax is problematic, medical professionals recommend safer and more effective methods for removing ear wax, such as using over-the-counter ear drops or seeking professional help from an audiologist or ENT specialist. These methods are less invasive and carry fewer risks than ear candling.
The potential risks of ear candling include:
- Injury to the ear canal and eardrum: The heat from the candle can cause burns or even perforate the eardrum, leading to hearing loss or other complications.
- Blockages or infections: The melted wax from the candle can drip into the ear canal and cause blockages or infections.
- The candle wax can push ear wax deeper into the ear canal: Studies have shown that ear candling can actually push ear wax deeper into the ear canal, making it more difficult to remove and potentially causing further damage.
- Lack of effectiveness: There is little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of ear candling in removing earwax or improving hearing.
While ear candling may seem like a natural and easy solution for removing ear wax, it is not a recommended procedure due to its potential risks and lack of evidence supporting its effectiveness. It is important to seek professional help from a medical expert for safe and effective earwax removal.
Are you in the Forest Hill or Toronto area, and have questions or concerns about ear wax? Stop by Toronto Hearing Health Clinic, we would love to help!