Ear candling, busting the myths…

Ear candling is an alternative practice that is believed to treat several conditions including excess ear wax, earaches, and sinus infections. However, there is no proven advantages to using ear candles for wax removal. In fact, research suggests a risk of damage to the inner ear.

What is ear candling?

An ear candle is a narrow, hollow cone that has been soaked in beeswax or paraffin and allowed to harden.  During ear candling, the person lies on their side with one ear facing down whilst someone inserts the pointed end of the candle into the hole of the ear that is facing up. The top of the cone is then set on fire and left to burn for 10-15 minutes.


Marketers of ear candles advertise them as treatments for:

  • Ear wax build up
  • Earaches
  • Swimmer ear or ear infections
  • Hearing problems
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Stress and tension
  • Tinnitus

The facts

There is no scientific evidence that ear candling pulls out debris from the ear canal.

Scientific measurements of the ear canals before and after candling show no reduction in ear wax and researchers often found an increase in wax because of the wax deposited by the candles.

Health risks

The flame from a candle or melted wax may drip into your ear canal and puncture your eardrum and make you lose your hearing.

The TGA have reported burns, perforated eardrums, ear canal blockages that require surgery.

Possible complications of candling include:

  • Ear canal blockages
  • Eardrum perforations
  • Secondary ear infections
  • Ash coating the eardrum
  • Hearing loss
  • Burns

Alternatives for ear candling

Avoid ear candling. It is dangerous and has no proven medical benefits.

Talk to your healthcare professional if you are concerned about ear wax or other conditions.

Ask your doctor about methods other than ear candling for removing ear wax buildup.

If you need more information or have any other problems with your ears, you should make an appointment with an audiologist.

At Hearsmart we offer wax removal at our clinic in Lilydale and Mont Albert North. Our audiologists can discuss a wide range of hearing health concerns you may have and offer solutions.

Book a hearing test or wax removal today either by calling us on 1300 787 792 or pop in and visit us in person at 321 Main Street, Lilydale or email us at admin@hearsmart.com.au