Ear candling: Should you try it?

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  • We weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of ear candling...

    Ear wax ain’t pretty. On top of that, it can be seriously irritating, especially if your ears have the ability to produce more than what is considered humanly possible. But should we really be removing something our body obviously produces to protect our ear canal? And what’s the safest way to do it? After all, we’ve all been told at some point in our lives not to push ear buds down there for fear of pushing wax further in, but there are so many cautious tales surrounding other treatments, like ear candling, it seems we’re doomed to have orange ear canal edges for life. Yuck. Which is why we’re looking at the pros and cons of ear candling to decide once and for all, whether it’s worth it.

    What is ear candling?

    This popular treatment is performed using special candles, which are hollow fabric cones soaked in wax or paraffin. One end is stuck into your ear canal, while the opposite end is lit to burn for about 15 minutes. As the candle burns, it supposedly creates a low-level suction that pulls wax out of your ear. Then, when you’re done, you split the candle open and see all of the wax inside.

    Does ear candling work?

    The jury is still out. According fans, ear candling can treat ear wax build-up, tinnitus, hearing problems, sinus infections, soar throat, headaches and stress. But, as reported by the American Academy of Audiology, there is no scientific evidence that ear candling pulls out debris from the ear canal. In fact, many health sites warn of injuries incurred through ear candling, such as perforated eardrums, burns and hearing loss.

    How can you get rid of ear wax?

    If you’re undecided as to whether ear candling is for you, you might want to try some safer options. Ear wax softening drops are available over the counter at local drugstores and help break down the waxy substance so it naturally drains for your ear when you lean your head to the side you have treated. If you have severe wax build up, see your local doctor, as you may need to flush your ear with a bulb syringe.


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