If you’ve ever been concerned about the amount of earwax in your ears, then you aren’t alone. Contrary to popular belief, ear wax, or cerumen, is necessary for the health and protection of ear canals. While there are ways to remove excess earwax (such as warm water, suction, a curette, etc.), some people resort to options such as Q-tips, which can press earwax further into the canal.
Another option for cleaning the ears is ear candling, whereby a hollow candle is placed into the ear canal while the participant lies on their side. The wick is lit and is left to burn for a given number of minutes, then blown out.
After the candle is removed from the ear, the remnants of earwax are supposedly left inside the hollow candle. All the debris inside the hollow candle is due to a vacuum created by the flame’s heat.
What does the Science Say?
While this procedure is typically performed by therapists practicing alternative medicine, some kits allow you to do ear candling at home without supervision. While it doesn’t seem that difficult, the chances of fire damage or personal risk are high. Aside from those issues, does ear candling really work to help remove earwax and buildup?
According to Canadian Family Physicians, there is no scientific evidence to prove this procedure helps.
As recently as five years ago, the American Academy of Otolaryngology published research noting that ear candling is not a safe option for removing earwax, nor does the candle create the supposed vacuum within the ear canal to remove debris. The journal also notes that possible issues from ear candling can happen, including infections, burns, and blockages, to name a few.
What Can You Do?
While excessive amounts of earwax can be treated at home, you want to speak with a hearing professional before beginning any treatment to protect your hearing. After a proper diagnosis, you can talk with your provider about possible treatment options, including ear drops, warm water, or even a wait-and-see approach.
If the earwax is impacted, we might opt to remove it in our office with special tools.
Does Earwax Cause Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can occur when there is a buildup of earwax within the ear canal. This can happen for several reasons, but placing something into your ear (Q-tips, toothpicks, ear candles, etc.) can cause injury to your ear and ear canal – and possibly your hearing.
There’s no doubt that the ringing, humming, and buzzing noises you hear from a bout of tinnitus are cause for concern, and it might seem as though ear candling would be an excellent option. However, before beginning an alternative treatment like this, be aware of the possible risks.
There is no scholarly evidence that ear candling relieves tinnitus or decreases the amount of earwax in the ear canal.
Since there are three different types of tinnitus, narrowing down which type you are experiencing is essential. We know that excessive earwax can contribute to the ringing and buzzing, and safely remove the wax – without using a candle. If excessive earwax isn’t the issue for your tinnitus, we’ll help get down to the root cause and begin to help treat it accordingly. This can be through sound therapy, counseling, hearing aids, or even periods in the Tinnitus Relief Studio.
Contact Us for Help With Earwax and Tinnitus
If your tinnitus symptoms continue or affect your day-to-day life, contact the Hearing Associates of Las Vegas specialists. We get down to the nitty-gritty of hearing loss and associated conditions and can help you treat tinnitus healthily and effectively.
Call us if you’re ready to get some real answers and start taking care of your tinnitus safely and efficiently. Complete a quick five-minute hearing quiz, set up an initial consultation with a hearing expert, and be on your way to treating your tinnitus and earwax issues without danger.