Ear Wax Removal Candle

Learn About The Dangers

By: - Alternative Medicine - July 20, 2011
ear wax removal candle learn about the dangers

How safe is an ear wax removal candle and should you be buying ear wax removal candles at all? Surprisingly, many people still believe that removing your ear wax using the candle method is good and will help.  It is sometimes used in alternative medicine to avoid using chemicals, but the reality is very different to what you may have been led to believe.

An ear wax removal candle is used in ear candling, a method which uses a candle that has been lit to extract wax by putting the non-lit end into the ear canal.  A cloth that is flame retardant is put between the patients face and ear and the plate that supports the candle.  However, contrary to what people are being told, the material that is allegedly removed from the ear is not in fact toxins and earwax, but the residue that comes as a result of the candle being in the ear.  As such, this therapy, also known as thermal-auricular therapy or ear coning is a practice with many well-being and health claims and little prove to back it up.  In fact, studies have shown that the whole procedure is both ineffective and dangerous with no evidence of ear wax removal at all.  Most importantly, the claims that the Hopi Indian tribe developed this technique has been totally disproven and is a tale merely being used to get in customers.  There is such an outcry going on about the risks involved that even top medical magazines are alerting doctors to the risks.  Both American and Canadian doctor magazines have stated clearly that there is no scientific evidence that the procedure works.  In the US, experts are telling people to avoid the procedure because of the pretty well guaranteed likelihood of candle wax dripping into a perfectly healthy ear canal, creating no suction to remove wax and not to mention that burning residue can enter the ear and cause serious health risks, if not serious burns.  The US FDA has made serious comments about the candling procedure and the use of ear wax removal candles as being a serious danger to a person’s health, regardless of the manner, prescription, labeling, dosage, duration or frequency prescribed.  Additionally, in 2007, the FDA suggested even more risks associated with a lit candle being so close to a human face that the risk is high of a person suffering damage to the middle ear, and/or hair and/or skin burns.  Recent incidents in 2008, showed how true the FDA’s warnings were when two separate homes went up in flames because of ear candling, resulting in at least one death.

Though Europe, Canada and the US have not yet put a ban on the sale of ear wax candles or the use of an ear wax removal candle for ear wax removal procedures, manufacturers and practitioners of ear candling are still promoting them as being safe and healthy.  As such, it is important to take note of these warnings and to know that the risks of ear candling using lit candles are simply too high for anyone to take a chance on.  So, if you are considering getting ear candling, reconsider your options and speak to your family doctor about safer alternatives because there are ones out there that do not use chemicals and are much healthier and far safer.

Photo: ear candling – copyright 2005, JohnFlux – reproduced under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License 2.5 Generic, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ear_Candling.jpg

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