Ear candling is a traditional folk remedy that is used to remove earwax and other impurities from the ear canal. It involves placing a hollow, cone-shaped candle in the ear and lighting the end of the candle. The heat from the candle is said to create a vacuum that draws out earwax and other debris.
However, there is no scientific evidence to support the use of ear candling. In fact, ear candling can be dangerous and can cause a number of complications, including:
- Burns to the ear canal, face, and scalp
- Perforated eardrum
- Hearing loss
- Cerumen impaction (earwax buildup)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned against the use of ear candles, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) does not recommend ear candling.
If you are experiencing earwax buildup or other ear problems, it is important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. A doctor can safely remove earwax and treat other ear problems.
Here are some tips for preventing earwax buildup:
- Avoid putting objects in your ears, such as cotton swabs or bobby pins.
- Wipe the outer part of your ears with a warm, damp cloth after bathing or swimming.
- If you have a lot of earwax, talk to your doctor about using over-the-counter earwax removal drops.
If you are considering ear candling, please talk to your doctor first.