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Hearing Blog

Is Ear Candling Safe?

February 23, 2023

Often, I am asked by patients on how to clean their ears. Most know that you are not supposed to put anything smaller than their elbows in their ears. Why you ask? Because the ear canal is made up of tender thin skin with oil & cerumen glands and blood vessels that are very close to the surface. If you are constantly putting in cotton swabs and twisting and turning to pull out wax, you are also removing the necessary oils are skin cells that help to keep the ear healthy. If by chance you pull out a piece of wax that is stuck, then you also risk the tearing the skin which can open you up to a possible ear infection. The ear canal is so sensitive that removing the oils can also create microscopic groves in the ear canal and then the oil and the wax can’t migrate out of the ear.

There are many variables and options as to cleaning your ears. The safest is to have them professionally cleaned by your hearing health care provider. The provider will have proper tools, flushing and vacuuming machines to provide a safer procedure.

Over the years I have encountered many patients who have either attempted to ‘ear candle’ or else they are considering it. Does it work? Is it safe?

Ear candling is a hollow wax candle that is placed in the ear canal and then lit. It is twisted and slit in tight and then lit on fire. The idea is to create a low-level vacuum that softens the ear wax and pulls out the wax. I have had several people tell me that they have indeed done it and I can tell you that I have not had one person whose ear canal was free of wax.

I have found remnants of the candle material left in the ear canal, however. Ear candling is deemed not safe by Physicians, Ear Nose & Throat specialist, and Hearing Health Care Providers. The reason for this is because of possible damage that the heat can cause to the ear canal. The Heat can cause burns from the hot wax and flame. The wax can drip and get stuck in the ear canal and cause obstruction or blockage in the ear canal. The heat of the candle itself can tear the eardrum; thus, causing major damage and hearing loss. Disrupting the ear canal may also cause an ear infection.

It is best to let your Hearing Health Care Provider who can see in your ear perform a safe removal when and IF ear wax removal is necessary. If you are having difficulties…we are here to help!

To Hear Better Is To Live Better!


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