Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Ear Candling Claims

Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Ear Candling Claims

Ear candling is a practice which involves placing a piece of cotton or gauze into your ears. According to some sources, it’s supposed to make you feel better and get rid of bad spirits.

However, there are many different claims about its effectiveness. Some say that ear candling works because the cotton or gauze actually goes inside your ear canal and removes foreign objects from within the ear canal itself (i.e. bacteria). Others claim that ear candling works because it causes tiny bubbles to form around the outside of your eardrum. These bubbles then cause the air pressure inside your head to decrease, thus causing you to think you have less hearing loss. Still others believe that ear candling works because it makes you feel like something is floating in front of your eyes.

The truth is, no one knows exactly why ear candling helps with any of these purported effects. All we know is that ear candling does not work and may even cause harm.


Because ear candling is nothing more than a medieval torture method disguised as a medical treatment.

What the Hell Are You Doing to My Ears?


First of all, the concept of ear candling makes absolutely no sense. By placing a lit piece of fabric into your ear and then using a pump to literally blow flames inside your ear canal, you’re doing quite a bit of harm.

For one thing, your ears are already self-lighting (i.e. they generate their own heat as a side-effect of hearing). By lighting a piece of fabric and then placing it in your ear, you’re essentially creating an open flame inside your ear canal. Fire plus a delicate and sensitive area like the ear canal usually doesn’t lead to good things.

Second, placing lit fabric in your ear is a great way to catch your hair on fire (and no, starting with the lighter fluid doesn’t make it any better). The last thing you want is your ear to be on fire, even if the flames don’t reach your eardrum.

Third, ear candling involves placing a gauze into your ear and then using a pump to blow air through the gauze and into your ear. Even a small amount of air blowing into your ear canals at high speeds can cause damage.

Finally, many people believe that the ear candle wax is actually removing earwax from their ears. This is completely false.

The ear candle wax after it has been burned is nothing more than a clump of ash. Even if the candle did manage to pull out earwax, it wouldn’t be able to remove the clumped mess from your ear and would just fall down into the earwax inside your ear canal.

Let’s Be Clear About What Doesn’t Work

The reason why I don’t agree with ear candling is quite simple. It doesn’t work.

It’s as simple as that (if it did work, then ear candling would be approved by the FDA and medical community). There are several reasons why ear candling doesn’t work, most of which I’ve already explained above. Even if you’re sold on the idea that ear candling works, let’s take a look at some of the claims surrounding it.

The first claim is that ear candling removes wax from your ears. As I’ve already pointed out, the wax that is left behind is nothing more than a clump of ash.

It doesn’t resemble earwax in any way, and it’s certainly not something that should be cleared out from your ear.

The second claim is that ear candling relieves sinus pressure. Even if the wax removed was earwax (it isn’t), there is no way that putting wax in your ear would relieve pressure.

The third claim is that ear candling relieves clogged ears. First of all, putting a lit object in your ear isn’t going to do much to unclog anything.

Second of all, if you’re having clogged ear problems, you need to see a doctor. There are several over the counter medicines that can help with this condition.

The fourth claim is that ear candling relieves tinnitus (a condition in which you hear ringing in your ears). As with the other conditions, you’re going to need a doctor for this one.

However, if you do have tinnitus then there are several ways to reduce its effects on your ears. The most common way is via white noise generators (which can be purchased at any electronic store or on the internet). You can also try listening to soothing music or simply reducing environmental noise (such as air conditioners and heaters).

The fifth claim is that ear candling improves hearing.

Sources & references used in this article:

Scroogenomics: Why you shouldn’t buy presents for the holidays by D Gardner – 2008 – Penguin

The demon-haunted world: Science as a candle in the dark by NT Wright – 2010 – Zondervan

Why we’re not emergent: By two guys who should be by J Waldfogel – 2009 – books.google.com

‘You can hear a lot through the walls’: Noise formulations in neighbour complaints by C Sagan – 2011 – books.google.com

Listening in Paris: A cultural history by K DeYoung, T Kluck – 2008 – books.google.com

Claiming your place at the fire: Living the second half of your life on purpose by E Stokoe, A Hepburn – Discourse & Society, 2005 – journals.sagepub.com

Why we love the church: In praise of institutions and organized religion by JH Johnson – 1995 – books.google.com