Are Ear Candles a Safe and Effective Method of Ear Wax Removal?

Posted on March 5, 2024 by John Beharrell
Candle for Earwax removal

When our ears are blocked with wax, it can be difficult, frustrating or even painful. With side effects such as reduced hearing, ear pain or dizziness, it is natural to want to find solutions to remove ear wax quickly and effectively.  

How Ear Candles are Used?

Ear candles, also known as ear cones or thermal-auricular therapy, have historically been used for centuries. The practice involves placing a hollow candle made of fabric soaked in beeswax or paraffin into the ear canal and lighting the other end, with the claim that as the candle burns, it creates a vacuum that draws out earwax and other impurities from the ear canal. However, despite its traditional and widespread use, the effectiveness and safety of ear candling still remain highly controversial.

Ear candling

Many people opt for ear candles to try and find a quick or natural solution to the problem, however, with no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of using ear candles to remove wax, and so many “DIY” solutions on the high street and online, finding an effective treatment can be confusing. 

Are Ear Candles Safe?

Medical experts and regulatory agencies have cautioned against the use of ear candles due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting their effectiveness and the potential risks of burns or perforated ear drums and studies have shown that ear candles do not effectively remove earwax, and may even push wax deeper into the ear canal, leading to more compact blockages and potential injury. 

Information chart about "People that attempted self ear eax removal"

(Information chart from RNID Ear Wax Report, Jan 2024)

What Are the Safest Methods of Ear Wax Removal?

Medical professionals such as Ear Care Nurses, GPs and ENT consultants advise that ear wax should always be removed using methods which have been proved to be both safe and effective such as olive oil drops or sprays, syringing (sometimes called irrigation) or microsuction, which is viewed as the fastest, safest method of ear wax removal and suitable for the majority of patients, including those who cannot tolerate water-based methods such as syringing.

Finding an Ear Wax Removal Clinic You Can Trust

Finding a reputable clinic with qualified and experienced ear care specialists is also important. This is why so many patients come to Interhearing clinics which are led by fully trained, NHS-experienced professionals providing safe, effective microsuction ear wax removal for both adults and children. With no waiting list, specialist clinical teams and local locations within GP surgeries and Health Centres, you can trust Interhearing Clinics with your hearing health.

To find out more about our microsuction ear wax removal clinics in your area, simply call our friendly team for free on 0800 002 9503 or visit interhearing.com/ear-wax-removal. You can also read our patient reviews on Google and Trustpilot. 

Effective earwax removal by healthcrae professional

So, Are Ear Candles a Safe and Effective Way to Remove Ear Wax?  

Although ear candles continue to be marketed as a holistic solution for ear health, the evidence does suggest otherwise. The risks associated with ear candling and other popular methods such as cotton buds and ear wax removal tools, far outweigh any potential benefits and seeking advice from medical professionals for safe and effective ear care practices is highly recommended. Effective ear hygiene, including regular cleaning with safe methods like ear drops, irrigation or microsuction still remain the best options for maintaining healthy, clean ears.

Also check: Can ear wax cause tinnitus?