Hopi Ear Candling is thought to be an ‘ancient therapy’ which claims to offer relief from hearing issues such as compacted earwax and tinnitus. During treatment, patients lay on their side on a couch before a Hopi ear candle is put into the ear, lit and held in place for around ten minutes. It is believed that the candles vaporise their ingredients and cause mild suction in the ear, which massages the ear drum and ear canal and draws out impurities. After the candle burns down and is removed, a cotton swab is used to clean visible ‘wax’ from the ear.
However, audiology professionals believe that ear candling doesn’t remove wax and may even produce negative results. There is a risk of burning to the skin; damage to the ear and the ‘material’ produced at the end of the procedure is likely to be a result of the process of burning the candle – and is not earwax
Although Hopi Ear Candling is believed to be an ancient practice, its origin and history are unclear. Most ear candles are made from linen or cotton soaked in wax or paraffin and allowed to harden; some waxes also contain herbs or other substances.
According to research published in Laryngoscope (Seely et al, 1996) there is no vacuum effect as a result of lighting an earwax candle and that ear candling is more likely to result in wax deposits dripping into the ear. In their study, scientific measurements in an ear canal model demonstrated that ear candles do not produce negative pressure and their clinical trial showed no removal of earwax from the external auditory canal. In some cases, candle wax was found to be deposited in patients’ ears.
A survey of 122 Otolaryngologists identified 21 ear injuries resulting from ear candle use. Their conclusion was that ear candles have no benefit in the management of earwax and may result in serious injury.
In addition, Hopi Ear Candling is not carried out by an ENT-trained audiologist, therefore patients can’t be sure that the procedure is medically safe.
If you notice symptoms such as pain, vertigo, hearing loss, coughing, itchiness or a feeling of a blocked ear, you may have compacted earwax. We would recommend that you apply olive oil to soften the wax before seeking professional help.
Our expert audiologists are ENT-trained and have a number of ways of tackling troublesome earwax including:
Our professional and proven techniques are gentle and effective – once the wax is removed, you will often experience an instant relief from your symptoms.
Find out more about our Earwax Removal Services or call us on 01223 661 399.