Ear candling is known as the technique where heat from a hollow, lit candle suctions earwax out of your ear but is it effective? If you are a fan of Tik-Tok, you have probably seen videos of people proclaiming that this method does indeed work. On the other hand, the dispute is that ear candling is an unproven and unsafe practice. With the speculations surrounding this type of treatment, it would be wise to contact an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist (ENT) for advice about ear candling.
Camellia ENT is located in the Lafayette, Louisiana area near you and is equipped to explain better the dangers ear candling can have if performed at home. The fact that you insert a 10-to-15-inch lit candle into the ear canal is not only scary but can be quite risky. Plus, there are no controlled studies to confirm the claims that ear candling does work. So, this too good to be true practice has no basis for being successful. In addition, the U.S. FDA has issued their viewpoint cautioning that ear candling can cause serious injury, even if followed according to the instructions.
The dangers ear candling can lead to:
- The ear canal can become obstructed by the wax from the candle.
- The membrane that divides the ear canal and the middle ear, known as the eardrum, can puncture.
- The face, scalp, and hair can potentially get burned from the candle flame or hot wax.
- If the ear canal or eardrum gets burned, it can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
The medical term for earwax is cerumen which is crucial for our ears. For most people, the ear is self-cleaning and so naturally pushes out the excess cerumen that builds up. Therefore, it is best to leave the ear canal alone since earwax is our defense against infections. A procedure like ear candling is unnecessary when our ears remove what by nature expels on its own. Let it do its job.
The benefits of earwax/cerumen provide:
- It helps protect the body from bacteria, viruses, and fungi that could threaten the ear canal.
- It works as a moisturizer in the canal, stabilizing dry and wet, which is necessary for hearing and balance.
- Earwax has an odor that repels small insects and parasites.
Some people can overproduce earwax which could be uncomfortable and embarrassing. This can lead to feeling as though you need to clear away the excess buildup. If you are one of those prone to this, there is a safe way to deal with it. You can use a soft washcloth after a warm shower to wipe the outside of your ear to remove the wax buildup. You could also use an over-the-counter ear drop which will soften cerumen so that it comes out on its own. Although, it is always recommended to consult a doctor before considering any method that may end up doing more harm than good.
If you are experiencing issues with your ears, give Camellia ENT a call today at 337-993-1335 to schedule an appointment. They use the latest techniques and procedures to help find the solution that works best for you. Taking great care of their patients is their top priority.