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The Skinny On: Ear Candles

You might have seen them at your local health food proclaiming to remove ear wax, improve hearing, relieve sinus pressure, and cure swimmer's ear. You probably wondered, “Do ear candles really work?”

I’m here to tell you from experience, they DO NOT. I tried the ear candle hoping it would help my sinus headaches. Did it work? Nope. Not one bit. When I cut the cone open, I did find some little waxy balls and yellow dust. It wasn't from my ear, but from the ear candle itself.

Ear wax is way too sticky to be dislodged by a little bit of suction. The amount of pressure needed to vacuum wax from your ear would be so intense; it would rupture your eardrum.

Not only do ear candles NOT work, they can actually cause injuries. Hot wax can drip into your ear causing major damage to your eardrums. OUCH. Plus, many people try using ear candles alone and have started fires.

Fit's tip: Don't fall for the at home ear candle. If your ears feel clogged with wax, call your doctor.

Join The Conversation
Beaner Beaner 10 years
I think it's gross when people's ears have wax in them. C'mon people. Clean out the gunk. No one wants to see that. I know you're not supposed to, but I still use q-tips.
amybdk amybdk 10 years
One of my girlfriends who is from Japan uses a mimikaki and has got me using it too. I know it sounds kind of dangerous - that's why you don't put it too far down your ear. The mimikakis usually have a feather at the end of them and you tickle your ear with it when you're finished.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Yeah, I thought all the wax and stuff left inside the cone was from my ear, but it was from the ear candle itself. The candles don't create enough of a vacuum to suck the wax out of your ear (good thing because if it could, it's be powerful enough to suck out your eardrum in the process). I think if you're having problems with wax, or your hearing, or ear pain, you should go see an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor. They're professionals at dealing with all that stuff.
redmed redmed 10 years
I tried the candles with a friend. I had never heard of them before either-- a bit scary at first, but I couldn't believe all the wax that was inside. I was disgusted! I would use them again, but only with some help!
kevindineen kevindineen 10 years
I did this once... it crackled.. I had my doubts. Won't do it again.
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
ill have to try this.. and it clears gunk out of your ears? cause im always diggin wiht q tips which i know is not good
Vsugar Vsugar 10 years
peroxide. you leave it in until the bubbling slows down and then you tip your had over the other way for a few minutes for it to drain out. There ARE pharmacy products, but I can't remember what they are called - but nothing works better than peroxide (or an ENT).
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
For years I've wondered about, this answers the question. The thought of someone doing this completely freaks me wax, and fire that close to your head..not for me. I agree fitsugar, the only one coming near my ears would be a doctor. I wonder about those ear washes you can buy at the drug those work?
caroline_1 caroline_1 10 years
my ex had chronic ear infections as a kid and his doctor recommended the hydrogen peroxide deal, saying it was safer than q-tips.. i use a little dropper thingy for it, im afraid of getting too much in!! :)
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Sweet - I pour a little bit of hydrogen peroxide in the cap of the bottle. Then lay on my side on the couch or something, so my head is totally sideways. Then pour it straight into my ear. It bubbles and tickles. :P Then, I hold a towel to my ear and sit up and tilt my head the opposite way to drain it all out.
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
"how do u do the hydrogen thing
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Oh, yay! Thanks, Fit. :D It tickles, but it sure makes your ears feel clean.
scratch5 scratch5 10 years
I did this too and thought it was bogus. Good to know I'm not just a cynic, but a discerning cynic!
SWEET-C9363 SWEET-C9363 10 years
i wnated to try this but i was leary cause i had two perforated eardrums as a kid
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Jennifer 76 - Hydrogen peroxide IS considered a safe way to clean out small amounts of waxy build up in the ear, although hard wax and complete blockages should be treated by an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 10 years
I've had this done by a pro, and it actually worked. She put a weird plate-ish thing around hte candle so no wax could drip into the ear, and when she cut open the candle, there was Definitely a lot of wax in there. ~* “I think the thing to do is to enjoy the ride while you're on it.” -Johnny Depp *~
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
I can't believe they still sell these. :oy: On another note, is pouring hydrogen peroxide in your ear ok? LOL It sure cleans your ear out.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
this is the weirdest thing I have ever heard of...sorry you tried it with no luck fit. I'm all in.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
I'm all in.
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