The internet is full of misinformation masquerading as fact. While some wild stories provide entertainment, they have real world consequences. For example, the benefits of ear candling have been widely inflated and can cause you serious harm.
What Is Ear Candling?
While the exact origins are unknown, many believe that ear candling (also known as thermal auricular therapy and ear coning) can be traced back to the spiritual healing services of Hopi Indians. The practice involves inserting a 10-inch hollow candle into the ear and lighting it on fire. Those who follow this practice, known as candlers, believe the flame creates a suction and pulls earwax from the inner ear.
Candlers falsely claim that your ears are connected by a passage through the head, so cleaning your ears will leave you with a clean head. They believe that ear candling can treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Sinus pain and pressure
- Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ)
- Swimmer’s ear
- Meniere’s disease
The Dangers of Ear Candling
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement warning consumers about the dangers of ear candling. Even when following the manufactures’ instructions, users may experience:
- Burns to the face, ear canal, eardrum and middle ear
- Wax related injury on the face
- Puncture of the eardrum
- Ears becoming plugged with wax
The Science Does Not Back These Claims
There is simply no scientific evidence of any medical benefits from ear candling. Research indicates that the procedure is ineffective at removing wax, and can actually push the wax further into the ear.
Earwax Is Healthy
Having some earwax, known medically as cerumen, is perfectly normal as it is naturally occurring. Earwax provides a protective barrier against dirt and bacteria and moisturizes the skin of ear canal, preventing dry, itchy ears.
How to Safely Remove Earwax
As earwax is produced, it slowly makes its way from the inner ear to the outer portion, eventually falling out on its own. Standing under the shower and washing your ear with a washcloth is all that is needed to remove excess earwax. Don’t stick anything in your ear, including a cotton swab.
Contact the experts at Lifestyle Hearing Aid Solutions to learn more about keeping your ears clean and protecting yourself from injury.