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Why Ear Candling Doesn't Work and How to Safely Remove Earwax

There's no substitute for a comprehensive check at Buchanan Audiologists, where we can discuss safer methods for earwax removal, including microsuction. For expert advice and solutions, call us on 01634 757045.

What is Ear Candling?

Ear candling falls under the category of 'alternative medicine' and claims to clear not just the ear, but also the head and even the circulatory system. Various types are available, such as Hopi ear candles, ear cones, and natural ear candles made from cotton flax, hemp, and beeswax. Regardless of the type, the process remains consistent: you lie on your side, place one end of the candle in your ear, light the other end, and let it burn down to a few inches before extinguishing it. Proponents falsely claim that the flame creates negative pressure to suck out softened earwax.

Why Do People Do It?

Beyond the supposed earwax removal, ear candling is believed to offer a range of other holistic benefits. These claims include treating bacterial infections, cold and flu symptoms, migraines, and sore throats, many of which are unsubstantiated and too good to be true.

Why Ear Candling Doesn't Work

Let's debunk the claim that ear candles can 'suck out' excess earwax. Scientifically, candle flames do not generate enough negative pressure to extract any liquid from the ear. Moreover, the temperature these candles reach is insufficient to soften earwax. Research has even indicated an increase in earwax post-candling.

Is Ear Candling Safe?

In a word, no. Ears are sensitive and delicate organs that should never be exposed to an open flame. Risks include burns to the face, scalp, and neck and hot wax dropping into the ear canal, damaging membranes and leading to infections, bleeding, and even hearing loss. A survey among otolaryngologists identified 21 injuries resulting from ear candling, including burns and blockages from candle wax. Minute ash and powder deposits may also require professional removal.

The Safest Method: Microsuction at Buchanan Audiologists

If you're concerned about earwax build-up, let it fall out naturally as your ears are self-cleaning. However, if earwax is causing discomfort or hearing difficulties, microsuction is the safest and most effective method for removal. At Buchanan Audiologists, we offer professional microsuction services to safely and comfortably remove earwax.

For a thorough hearing assessment and safe, evidence-based ear care, including microsuction, contact the experts at Buchanan Audiologists on 01634 757045.