While some at-home treatments can be beneficial, we do not support or recommend the following methods of earwax removal.
Ear syringing is an outdated method of earwax removal which has lost popularity over the years in favour of ear irrigation. It would normally only be considered if earwax drops were not effective at removing build-up. An old-fashioned metal syringe was historically used to pump water into the ear canal in an attempt to dislodge and flush out earwax. These are rarely used today and have been substituted by lower pressured plastic ear syringes.
We do not support or recommend this method of ear wax removal.
Hopi ear candles
Hopi ear candles are used in ‘ear coning’ or ‘thermal auricular therapy’, which some claim promote general good health and well-being, whilst also facilitating in the removal of earwax. It is regarded as a form of alternative medicine and is believed to have originated in North America with the Hopi Tribe, however, this has been repeatedly denied by the Hopi Tribal Council who have asked for this association be stopped.
Ear candling should certainly not be performed in people who have:
- A perforated eardrum or grommet
- Mastoid cavity
- Cleft palate
- Foreign object inside the ear canal
- An outer or middle-ear infection in the last 6 weeks
In addition, there are many possible complications that can arise from the use of Hopi ear candles.
The most obvious and dangerous is burns to the person’s face and ear from falling hot beeswax.
The hot beeswax can also enter the ear canal, potentially perforating the eardrum.
Other known ear candle side effects and risks include:
- Occlusion (blockage) of the ear canal through beeswax and soot falling into the ear
- Increased risk of infection due to foreign bodies entering the ear canal
- Hair burns, especially if flammable hair products have been used
- Ear wax being further impacted into the ear canal by inserting the ear candle into the ear
- A false sense of thinking the ear wax has been removed, when in fact the residual debris collected inside the Hopi ear candle is beeswax and not earwax
As ear candling is normally performed by a non-ear professional, there is no clinical inspection of the outer ear and ear canal before or after the procedure, to check for any contraindications or complications.
Find out about our recommended home earwax removal methods here.
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