Do Ear Candles Work To Remove Earwax? | Ear Candling Proof!

– I have seen dozens
of ear candling videos where they show how ear
candles can successfully remove ear wax from an ear
canal, yet none of them show before and after visuals
of the actual ear canal. So in this video, I’m gonna
put ear candles to the test and I’m gonna see once
and for all whether or not they actually remove
ear wax from your ear. Coming up. (upbeat music) Hey guys, Cliff Olson, doctor of Audiology and founder of Applied Hearing
Solutions in Anthem, Arizona. And on this channel I
cover a bunch of hearing related information to help make you a better informed consumer. So if you’re into that, make sure you hit that subscribe button. Back in college I was a
licensed massage therapist and inside of the message therapy world, it was generally accepted
that ear candling was a great therapeutic
way to provide relaxation. But some massage therapists
would take this too far and start making claims that ear candling could remove ear wax, and
even that it could cure ear infections and hearing loss. Here’s the theory behind this. There are people out there who believe that when you light
one end of this candle, it actually heats up your ear wax and it creates a suction
effect to pull that wax out of your ear canal and
pull it into the candle. So by the time that you’ve
burned this candle down to about three to four
inches away from the tip, if you put that fire out
and then you cut open the remaining portion,
you’ll see a big glob of ear wax inside of the candle. Well I decided to run an experiment to determine whether or not this theory actually holds water. First I have my test subject Heather who has known ear wax build up issues. Heather is a retired nurse practitioner and founder of Arizona
Healing Alternatives. Second, I perform a visual otoscopy to ensure that Heather
actually had ear wax inside of her ear canal. As you can see, she has
a good amount of ear wax and it has a very sticky consistency. If it was a black color it
would mean that it is dry and likely stuck in her ear canal. If an ear candle has any chance
of removing this ear wax, then this would be the exact type of wax it would be able to remove. Now there are two
different types of candles that we use for this experiment. The first one is a
traditional beeswax candle that has no protector tip at the end. The second candle that we use, actually has a little
tip at the very end of it that is designed to prevent dripping of hot wax into an ear canal. So this will be the second
candle that we use on Heather. Next, I set Heather up to
burn the first traditional beeswax candle without the
protector tip in her right ear. Next to her, I set up an identical candle inside of a cup to use as comparison when we look at the contents inside. This will also let us
evaluate the contents of the cup that might potentially be left inside of Heather’s ear after candling. It takes about 15 minutes for
these candles to burn down. The manufacturers recommendations indicate that we stop the candle four inches away from the tip of Heather’s ear. But to ensure maximum effect in this, we’re gonna push the envelope a little bit and carefully burn it down
to about three inches. I’m gonna speed up the time lapse so we can see what we have
inside the burned candles. (upbeat music) Okay, so we’re gonna go ahead and cut open the one that was in Heather’s ear first. So I’m just gonna start
snipping at the bottom. It’ll probably be harder to do this with the other type of candle since no? Since it has that little
plastic piece at the bottom? – [Heather] Well the plastic
one yeah, that’s true. – [Cliff] Yeah, alright. So this is the one that was in her ear. Oh my goodness, look at all that. If you ask me what that looked like, I would say that that looks like earwax. That definitely looks
like cerumen for sure. And that is a lot of it. That would be what we would call a full plug inside of someone’s ear. So that is a very substantial
amount of material, we’ll say inside of the candle that was burning inside of Heather’s ear. Now the one that was
burning inside of the cup, we can see that there’s some, it’s almost like soot in there. If we take in, if I wipe my finger, it seems like soot in there. And that was for the
first maybe five minutes of that candle burning. We’ve got that smoke in here
but after about five minutes, no more smoke went in here so I’m not sure if that was because smoke
was being suctioned out of the cup at a certain point or whether or not it was plugged with wax at the bottom of the candle. So we’ll see. Okay. So we’ll open up this one
and there is definitely material in here but it
has a different look to it. Definitely has a different look. I mean some of the
material does look the same but it’s definitely more
what I would consider that ashy material, almost
like what’s inside the cup. Seems a little more ashy. Now if you do a direct
comparison of in the ear in this hand and out of
the cup in this hand, they’re definitely a different look, which is interesting to see for sure, so. – [Heather] And those were both the ones without the plastic. – And these are both the ones without that little plastic protector
at the bottom of the candle. They’re straight candles. Now this is the moment of truth. Did the ear candles actually remove ear wax from Heather’s ear? Let’s take a look. As you can see here, none of
Heather’s ear wax was removed. In fact, there actually seems
to be some ashy material inside her ear canal now
that wasn’t there before. If that was ear wax inside of the candle, I have no idea where it would’ve come from because it didn’t come from Heather’s ear. Take a look at this
side by side comparison pre-candling on the left and
post-candling on the right. You can see that clearly,
the same amount of wax is inside her ear before the candling as there was after the candling. But we’re not done yet. We’re gonna actually go ahead
and burn the second candle inside of Heather’s
ear that has the little protector tip down on
the end of the candle. (upbeat music) Okay so we have the second ear candle. This one uses an actual
little plastic protector at the bottom to protect the wearer. I don’t know if we can cut
through it, we’re gonna try. No, can’t cut through it, I think we’re gonna unravel. – [Heather] You can also
cut from the top too. – Alright, so we’re unraveling the one that was in Heather’s ear. Okay, so there’s stuff coming out and it’s a little bit more, I mean there’s definitely stuff in there. So let me kinda put that back in so I can hold it up to the camera. Okay, that was the material
that was in the second candle that was in Heather’s ear. So definitely has you know,
a waxy consistency to it. It’s definitely firm but
it has more of the look of the one that was in the cup on the first run that we went through. So now I’m going to take
a look at the candle that was in the cup on the second run. And we’ll see what’s inside of here. Okay. – [Heather] Oh is nasty, now it looks like it’s even more. – Right? And that’s that little plastic protector that was at the bottom that
the first candles didn’t have, both of these candles have that protector. And the consistency of that, I
would say is nearly identical to the first or the candle
that was in her ear. So if we just do a side by side here, you can see the differences there. Okay, now if we compare cups. So this is the second cup. So the amount of material
that is inside of the cups, you can see there, this
here is the second cup, this here is the first cup. You can clearly see that
there’s different material in both of those, not as much
inside of that second cup. And then to compare the first
one that was in the cup, this is the first candle in the cup, this is the second candle in the cup. Definitely different looks to them, more of a white powdery substance, or sorry yellowish powdery
substance in the first candle that was in the cup, more
of a what I would consider a waxy substance inside
of the second candle that was in the cup. And then the biggest
difference that I see here was the first candle
that was in Heather’s ear and the second candle that was in her ear. This is the first candle
that was in her ear, the material that came out of there, and the second candle that was in her ear and the material that came out of there. Now for our second moment of truth. Will we actually see a reduction in the amount of ear wax
inside of Heather’s ear canal? Let’s take another look. Again, as you can see the ear
wax hasn’t changed at all. it hasn’t moved at all, it hasn’t removed any of the ear wax. You can see the side by
side comparison here again between the first time I
looked in Heather’s ear and after the second
attempt at ear candling. Now I know that looking at the contents of that first candle that we
put inside of Heather’s ear would lead you to believe that ear wax was being pulled out of her ear because that candle looked
completely different than the candle that was
burned inside of the cup. But visualization doesn’t lie, it clearly indicated that
there was no ear wax movement, there was nothing that would indicate that it pulled any kind of ear wax out of Heather’s ear canal. Alright, now that we know for sure that ear candling does not remove ear wax, we need to go ahead and talk about some other issues surrounding this as an alternative therapy. The first thing is that if there was some kind of suction
effect that was created by the ear candle, we wouldn’t see smoke billowing out of the bottom of the candle. On top of that, if you
did get a suction effect that was strong enough to pull ear wax outside of someone’s ear canal, it would likely rupture the eardrum because it’s just three little thin layers of epithelium and collagen. The second thing is is that despite what anyone tells you,
you’re not going to have any impact on the middle ear space, the Eustachian tube, or the inner ear. The eardrum actually
blocks off the ear canal and separates it from the
inner ear and the middle ear. So unless you have a perforation
inside of your eardrum, you’re not gonna be pulling
any kind of materials outside of those spaces, if it could do so in the first place. And if you do have a perforation
inside of your eardrum and you drop any hot wax from that candle inside of your ear,
you’re gonna be looking at having surgery to get it out. And lastly, the smoke that
plumes from the bottom of an ear candle for a few minutes before it actually gets
plugged up with the beeswax can leave that soot tight
material inside of your ear canal which can have its own
negative health implications. In fact, they’ve done studies to determine that children who grow up in households with smokers are at higher likelihood for ear infections so
why would you wanna risk ear candling giving you
an actual ear infection? Now of course I didn’t let
Heather leave my clinic without performing
cerumen management on her so I went ahead and
cleaned out the ear wax inside of her ear canal
safely with a curette. As you can see, I was
able to completely remove all of her ear wax in just a few minutes. Here’s a side by side comparison of Heather’s ear before candling and her ear after professional
removal of her ear wax. Alright guys, there you go. Based on my little research project, ear candling proves to
be an ineffective way to remove ear wax from
someone’s ear canal. It also puts you at higher risk of starting your hair on fire, dripping hot wax into your ear canal, and just making you smell
like smoke in general. Now if you still wanna do ear candling as a form of relaxation, then go ahead and knock yourself out. As for me, I think I’ll
go get a massage instead. That’s it for this video,
if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below. If you liked the video, please share it and if you wanna see other
videos just like this one, make sure you hit that subscribe button. I’ll see you next time. (upbeat music)

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