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The Dangers of Ear Candling
In recent times, the practice of ear candling has resurfaced thanks to social media, and more and more people are trying this do-it-yourself (DIY) method of removing earwax instead of heading to visit their doctor or audiologist. There are some concerns about whether ear candling is safe and if it holds any benefit to the users. Ear candling is not safe, and you should avoid using this technique altogether to remove earwax.
Supporters of this method claim that the warmth from the candle causes suction, which worsens earwax build-up and other impurities from the body. But it is essential to note that this hasn’t been proven, and all tales of success are anecdotal at best.
Why Do People Try Ear Candling?
There are various reasons why people resort to ear candling, and these can include:
- Earwax build-up
- Swimmer’s ear
- Relieve cold and flu symptoms
- Sinus infections
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Stress and tension
The procedure involves inserting a lit candle into the ear with some type of protection around the ear to stop the wax from dripping into the ear. The candle is left to burn until around three to four inches from the face, trimming the material being cut to avoid contamination. The best practitioners will cover parts of the body and face with a protective cloth to prevent burns from the hot wax.
Once the procedure is done, the practitioner shows the client what the wax has removed from the body. Suggesting it is a toxin or earwax, there remains much doubt over what this substance is exactly and the benefits of partaking in this dangerous procedure.
The Dangers of Ear Candling
Experts are unanimous in their verdict that ear candling holds no real benefit to people and undergoing this type of treatment for ear concerns can pose more harm than good to a person’s ear and hearing. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has gone as far as to destroy equipment used for ear candling to avoid more damage being done to those using this method.
When used for ear cleaning or hearing loss, you can use safer and more effective methods and your audiologist can advise you on the best treatments for your problems. At best, one of the dangers of ear candling is that it does absolutely nothing, and aside from a stiff neck from remaining in the same position, the only thing you will have lost is the money you paid for this procedure.
However, it is worth remembering that lighting a candle result in hot wax, which will drip. If not adequately protected, hot wax can scold the skin leading to burns requiring further treatment wherever it lands on the body if left. This can cause pain and distress to a person and include some intensive medical care to rectify the damage caused by the hot wax.
If this wax enters your ear canal, there is a greater risk that you are doing more harm than good as the wax will damage the delicate parts of your ear, which may be irreversible.
Even if you are not burned during ear candling, there is also the risk that it does not work. It pushes hardened earwax further into the ear canal, making the blockage worse than it was and potentially requiring medical intervention to remove it. Typically, hardened earwax is almost impossible to remove by ear candling as the warmth generated by the candle isn’t enough to melt the wax sufficiently to dislodge and remove it safely.
On top of this, there is the risk that debris such as ash or dead skin cells disrupted by the candle makes their way into your ear canal, exposing you to the risk of infection or foreign bodies in your ear, resulting in damage.
Why Ear Candling Isn’t the Best Option
Aside from the dangers mentioned above, inserting anything into your ear for ear cleaning or improving temporary hearing loss can have the opposite effect. Your ears are composed of many different parts that need to work intrinsically to perform their duties. The insertion of anything that can upset this balance and cause damage to the fragile cells and membranes can leave you with unwanted side effects.
Suppose you need help cleaning your ears or dislodging earwax. In that case, you should discuss your ear concerns with a qualified medical professional who can assist you in determining the cause of your ear issues and rectifying them safely where possible. Contact Advanced Hearing of Brighton at 810-355-2245 to discuss ongoing earwax build-up and more.