The Truth About Ear Candling

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Ear candling is an at-home form of therapy where you place one end of an ear candle in your ear while the other end is lit. Many people use ear candles to help treatconditions such as sinus congestion, ear wax buildup, allergies, hearing loss, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or vertigo. People have been using ear candles for years to help treat common maladies of the ear, but while they think it may be a perfectly safe and normal form of therapy, it isn’t. Ear candling is not just ineffective; it’s downright dangerous.

How Ear Candling Works

Ear candling involves the use of a tapered, hollow candle made of cloth and soaked in paraffin or beeswax. The narrow end is placed into the ear canal and the wide end is lit on fire. Proponents of this pseudo-medical practice claim that oxygen is drawn from the flame, thus creating a vacuum that sucks wax and fluid into the candle and out of the ear. Other practitioners even swear that unwanted fluids throughout the brain can be released through the eardrum by means of this process.

Risks Involved

Ear candling may sound like an easy method to help clean your ears, but there is no scientific evidence that shows how it helps. In fact, it could actually cause you a range of additional serious problems, including:

  • Wax deposits. Wax from the candle can actually fall out of the candle and into your ear canal.
  • Ruptures. When done incorrectly, ear candles can tear part of your ear—causing irrevocable damage.
  • Burns and occlusions. Ear canal occlusions and burns are also common risks, since a lighted candle is so close to your skin.
  • Ash and other buildup. Candling can coat your eardrum with ash and other candling residue, thereby clogging your ears more than they were before. 
  • Hearing loss. Temporary hearing loss resulting from infections of the ear canal brought on by candling is another risk.
  • Punctures. Because you’re placing the candle inside your ear, you run the risk of puncturing your eardrum.
  • Finally, there is the small but possible chance that a dangerous fire could be started if the ear candle is mishandled.


If you are suffering from a build-up of ear wax or believe you have lost a significant amount of hearing, steer clear of this dangerous and overrated ear candling method. Instead, contact your hearing care professional to have your hearing checked. The professionals at Miracle-Ear offer free hearing evaluations. Do not rely on mediocre home remedies for your ears. Save yourself the trouble and visit a professional instead.

*Disclosure: This content is sponsored by Miracle Ear.


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The Truth About Ear Candling
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