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What is ‘ear candling’ and does it work?

What is ‘ear candling’ and does it work?

What is ear candling?

Ear candling is an alternative therapy that claims to improve general health and well-being, and remove ear wax.  The process involves lighting one end of a hollow candle and placing the other end in your ear canal.

Supposedly, when the tube of waxed paper or gauze burns, it creates a vacuum like effect just outside your ear. This vacuum, or difference in air pressure is proclaimed to draw out your ear wax. Sounds convincing enough, particularly because a vacuous fire is involved.

The picture below shows the use of an ear candle. Note the flammable looking housewares you should remain well clear of when lighting a fire inside a home.

Ear candling-self applied

Does ear candling work?

You can easily purchase ear candles at places that might lend some credibility to their effectiveness. And this is where what we say about ear candles and the places that sell them gets us in trouble with our legal department.

Perhaps it’s safer to say most people’s ears are entirely self-regulating. Think of the ear canal as a conveyor belt that efficiently expels excess skin, wax and debris. Therefore most people don’t need to use ear candles, or ear buds, or any other object to “clean” their ears. Your ears clean themselves, in most cases.

In cases where wax becomes “stuck” or impacted, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with Ear Health, or go and see your GP. Your ear canal is very sensitive, and a lot can go wrong if you shove anything larger than your elbow in there.

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