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Ear Candling - Does It Really Work?

Ear Candling - Does It Really Work? hero image

Ear wax can be a sticky topic, whilst we need ear wax to help protect our ears from dirt and bacteria, some of us can develop a build up of it which can cause temporary hearing loss and discomfort.

When it comes to getting rid of wax, we have heard of people using a number of items such as cotton buds, pen lids, hair grips and other small objects that shouldn’t be inserted into the ear. Another method of wax removal people sometimes turn to is ear candling. Often you can find this type of treatment at beauty salons, spas and even candles to buy and try at home.

There are 3 different types of ear candles; Hopi ear candles, ear cones and natural ear cones, all of which have a ‘chimney’ that is meant to hold the ear wax. Traditionally, you lie on your side and insert the candle in your ear and light the other end. The theory is that the heat from the lit candle creates suction pulling the wax into the hollowed candle. Others believe that the heat from the candle will melt the ear wax inside the ear canal, causing it to fall out over the following days. 

Whilst this is a popular homoeopathic remedy, there is little research to prove that these candles can remove ear wax as the candles do not produce a negative pressure and therefore cannot vacuum the wax out of the ear. Also, the heat produced by ear candling is below body temperature, so it is unable to melt any wax that is inside the ear. Hot wax around the face and ear is dangerous and can cause injury if it comes into contact with your skin, or end up in your ear canal.

So, in an answer – no, ear candling doesn’t work and to be safe nothing smaller than your elbow should be inserted into your ear! Ear wax should only be removed by an audiologist or ear wax removal specialist using micro suction.

If you have any concerns about ear wax or have noticed any changes in your hearing due to ear wax please contact one of our audiologists today to arrange an ear wax removal appointment.


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