Have you heard of ear candling? Ear Candling, also called Ear Coning or Thermal Auricular Therapy, is a popular method among natural health proponents for earwax removal. There is no doubt that it has been practiced for centuries across several cultures. There are references in ancient literature and art to Egyptians, Mayans, and other cultures using ear candling. Because its use is so ancient, a lot of people believe it is an effective and safe way to clear the ear of excess earwax.
You will find ear candling kits sold in health food stores and natural supply stores all over the country, as well as plenty of places online. Natural health practitioners such as acupuncturists, Chinese medicine doctors, naturopaths, reflexologists, and even chiropractors often offer ear candling as a value-added service at their offices.
People swear by it, but does it really work?
How does Ear Candling work?
Before we dive into its efficacy, let’s first understand how ear candling supposedly works. In this procedure, a tapered candle is placed in the ear and surrounded at the bottom by a paper cone. The candle is lit, and a vacuum is created in the ear, supposedly drawing the wax up and out, and depositing it in the cone.
Those who use it point to the wax in the cone as proof that the procedure works. They also claim to feel a benefit from ear candling, such as clearer hearing, less pressure in the ears, sinus drainage and clearing, earache curing, and even better balance (due to the removal of the wax).
Does it really work?
There may be a lot of enthusiastic fans of ear candling, but the science behind it simply doesn’t hold up. Ask any hearing professional, and they will tell you about the testing that has been conducted on ear candling and the results disproving the method. Remember, as Licensed Hearing Professionals, it is in our best interest to always offer you the truth about treatments that affect your ability to hear better.
Scientific studies have shown numerous times that no vacuum is created in the ear canal during ear candling. Without the vacuum, earwax simply cannot be drawn up and out of the ear. While there is often some residue on the paper cone after the candling procedure, scientific tests have shown it to be merely candle wax. In fact, sometimes the candle wax actually gets into the ear, making hearing worse!
Not only is ear candling not effective in improving hearing by removing ear wax, it can actually be quite dangerous. People have reported pain from the heat of the candle entering their ear canal, and ash has been found in the ears of people who have used ear candling, which requires professional assistance to remove. Fires have even been started in homes due to people practicing ear candling on their own or with family members. Burns to the outside of the ear are also not uncommon with this do-it-yourself procedure. Unfortunately, the reality is that Ear Nose and Throat Physicians often see patients with injuries who attempted Ear Candling at home.
While many natural therapies are indeed very effective and safe to use, this is not one of them. If you feel like your ears are plugged, contact the Hearing Specialists at Lifestyle Hearing Solutions for more information on hearing restoration and wax removal techniques that really work.
We look forward to hearing from you!