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? Just search YouTube for the suitable plumbing tutorial, go get the recommended tools, and go to work! A plumber would probably 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 so happens, in some cases a DIY fix is no replacement for the well-sharpened skills of a professional.

Sometimes, that’s difficult to admit. Ear candling or earwax candling is a perfect example of a DIY fix that people keep coming back to. It doesn’t really sound that pleasing, does it? Let’s dive into exactly what earwax candling is and its dangers.

What is ear candling?

Everybody has had the feeling of a plugged ear from time to time. Occasionally, it takes place when you’re ill and your ear fills with mucus. In other situations, it may happen because you have a surplus of earwax in your ears (and surplus earwax can have a variety of causes). When this happens, you might experience some discomfort. Your hearing may even temporarily go. It’s not fun!

Some individuals, as a result, think that ear candling is just the inexpensive and novel solution they need. The concept is to place the non-burning end of a special, hollow candle inside of your ear. Somehow, the mix of heat and the hollow style of the candle alters the air pressure inside of your ear canal, pulling the earwax or mucus out.

Healthcare professionals absolutely don’t encourage this practice. Do ear candles really pull wax out? No. There’s absolutely no evidence that ear candling works (especially not in the way that it’s supposed to work). Nearly every single hearing healthcare professional, as a result, will emphatically advocate against utilizing this technique ever. (Does ear candling help with sinus pressure? Also no.)

Just listen to the FDA! (What is the FDA saying about ear candling? Essentially, don’t do it!)

The drawbacks of ear candling

At first, ear candling might feel completely safe. It’s not like it’s a giant flame. And the “equipment” is specialized. And there are lots of people online who maintain that it’s completely safe. So how could it be possible for ear candling to be dangerous?

Sadly, there’s no getting around the fact that ear candling can be absolutely hazardous. What negative impacts can ear candling have? Ear candling can impact your health in the following negative and possibly painful ways:

  • 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 discomfort.
  • Your ear can be seriously burned: The fire and the melting ear candle wax are extremely hot. Your ear is very sensitive and significant burning can occur if the flame or the hot wax gets somewhere it shouldn’t.
  • You can push that earwax even further up into your ear: In much the same way that sticking a Q-tip in your ear can pack the earwax into an ever-more-dense blockage, so too can sticking a specialized candle in your ear. In other words, ear candling can make your earwax issue worse! This can lead to all sorts of other complications from hearing loss to serious infections.
  • You could seriously burn your face: There’s always a fairly good possibility that if you’re holding a flame up by your ear, you could burn your face. Everybody has accidents now and then. It’s all too easy for candle wax to trickle into your eyes or for your hair to catch on fire or for your face to become severely burned.
  • You may accidentally pierce your eardrum: There’s a danger that comes with inserting anything in your ears! You may accidentally puncture your eardrum, causing considerable discomfort and harm to your hearing. If this occurs it’s very likely that you will need to get professional help.

So, do hearing healthcare professionals endorse ear candling? Not at all! Not only is ear candling not helpful, it’s actually very dangerous!

So how should you eliminate earwax?

Ear wax is usually pretty healthy. In normal quantities, it’s beneficial for your ears. Issues start when there’s an overabundance of earwax or when it won’t properly drain. So what should you do if using a candle is a bad idea?

Seek advice from a hearing specialist if you have a stubborn earwax blockage. Typically, they will recommend that you try some at-home solutions, such as a saline wash, to loosen the wax allowing it to run out on its own. But they may also clean out your ear during your visit.

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 go into your ears unless advised by your hearing specialist or doctor.

Give your ears some relief

If accumulated earwax is causing you a little discomfort or misery, you should schedule an appointment with us. We can help you get back to normal by removing 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.

Questions? Talk To Us.

    Dr. Laura Padham, Audiologist

    Ocean Gate, NJ

    143 W Barnegat Avenue
    Ocean Gate, NJ 08740

    Mobile Services in:Ocean, Monmouth, Middlesex, Somerset, Union, Essex, Hudson, Bergen, Passaic, Atlantic, Mercer, and Burlington Counties.

    Call or Text: 848-266-5119

    Office Hours
    Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm

    Ocean Gate, NJ Google Business Profile

    Find out how we can help!

    Call or Text Us