Do Ear Candles Remove Earwax? Fact or Fiction… (Ear Candling)


Does ear candling remove earwax? Fact or
Fiction. Earwax is a common problem many patients face when it gets particularly
bad. It can be removed professionally by your local ENT. However, there are a
number of other ways to remove it including flushing and for some folks
even ear candling ear. Candling is a relatively common lay practice that
supposedly removes earwax. Proponents claim that it literally sucks earwax out
by negative pressure created by the burning candle. At the conclusion of the
ear candling, supposed earwax can almost always be found within the candle. The
main question is whether ear candling actually does what it claims to do. So
here we have set up an experiment whereby an ear candle has been
inserted into an empty glass cup. After lighting the candle, observe what happens
inside the glass cup. After a minute or two, smoke can be seen coming out of the
candle and down into the cup itself. Here’s what it looks like from the
inside. This smoke is actually candle wax debris and soot. Rather than a vacuum, it
seems to be adding debris into the ear canal instead. Occasionally, some of this
candle wax debris can be quite hot resulting in burns to the ear canal and
ear drum resulting in eardrum perforation and pain. The debris itself
can cause hearing loss by literally creating a wax covering over the ear
drum. At the conclusion of the ear candling of an empty glass cup, the
candle is opened up and voila! Earwax is found, only it really isn’t earwax but
rather larger debris of the candle itself that is falling down from the
burning flame. This just goes to show you that ear candling most certainly does
not remove earwax. Rather, the ear wax is created by the burning ear candle
itself.

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