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DrasticDreamer's avatar

What the hell is ear candling?

Asked by DrasticDreamer (23981points) October 23rd, 2010

I came across the term, randomly, while browsing the internet. Apparently people stick candles in their ears? Why the hell would people do this?

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24 Answers

Deja_vu's avatar

I’ve heard called ear coning too. Some people think it draws the earwax out of the ear. It’s a hollow candle. You can find them at Whole Foods. I heard it doesn’t work worth a crap.

FutureMemory's avatar

It’s right up there with crystals and other quasi mystical bullshit home remedies. Does not work.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

‘Ear candles’ are essentially a paper cone-shaped tube, similar to what cotton candy comes on at a fair. The paper cone has a waxy substance on the inside. If you look at @anartist‘s photos, you can see how it is done. People do it because they believe the candle draws wax build-up out out of their ear, thus relieving pain or other ear ailments.

So, does it really work? Here is a video on Testing Ear Candles: Hoax or Reality?

truecomedian's avatar

I got a bunch of them in the closet, I’m going to try it tomorrow, let y’all know what it was like.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Oh, we’ve done it as well..14 family members lying all over the living room floor, and all with essentially the same results. It’s a bit warm and there is a sound similar to putting an ear up to a conch shell as the paper burns.

@truecomedian If you haven’t, you may want to watch the first test in the video link. It’s gross to see the residue left on the tin foil. If you are still willing to give it a try, would you be willing to test two candles in a row on the same ear? That seems like it would be the real test.

truecomedian's avatar

Why would two in the same ear be a “real test”??

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If the candle really does remove ear wax, I would think that the first candle would remove most, if not all of it. If a second candle is used on the same ear, I would think that there would be less, if any ear wax sucked up into that candle.

truecomedian's avatar

I’ll see if it works tomorrow. I’ll do one in each ear and see what comes out. That should be proof enough. I got a bad ear, wonder what will come out of that one.

TexasDude's avatar

There is no scientific basis for ear candling to be of any benefit.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If there’s any benefit at all then I’d think it’s from the warmth inside the ear and not anything to do with the paper/wax/ashes mess.

woodcutter's avatar

it’s just stuff that gullible hippies crow about. The crap that is found inside them after use is what was already inside the cone waiting for the heat to congeal. Gross.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@woodcutter I agree. A roommate had it done by a doctor in his office back in ‘91. Once I saw what they really were and experienced the results of our family test, I thought, “What a quack that doctor was.” I still wonder how much he charged for that ‘treatment’.

Paradox's avatar

I’ve gotten this done occasionally. I think some of the claims that it draws/sucks wax and infections out of you are false. If done properly what it can do is heat the wax in your ear enough during a blockage to help the wax drain better. My hearing was alot better after getting it done. It can also help to relax you by circulating heat through your sinuses.

Many claims about it are false but it’s one of the few things I do for myself occasionally and it does help me in some way feel better. It’s not all baloney like some have implied here.

YARNLADY's avatar

I read that it is dangerous. Luckily my insurance allows me to visit a medical technician once every three months and get an ear canal cleaning – and @woodcutter the technician always gleefully shows me the crud that comes out, that part is real.

truecomedian's avatar

Maybe I didn’t do it right, but it didn’t do anything.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Is ear candling a safe way to remove earwax?
from Charles W. Beatty, M.D.
Ear candling — a technique that involves placing a lit, hollow, cone-shaped candle into the ear canal — can cause serious injury and isn’t considered an effective treatment for any condition.

The theory behind ear candling, also called ear coning or thermal auricular therapy, is that the heat from the flame will create a vacuum seal and the earwax in the ear canal will adhere to the candle. Ear candling has also been touted as a treatment for sinus infections and as a way to improve hearing.

Research shows, however, that ear candling is ineffective at removing earwax. In fact, the technique can actually push earwax deeper into the ear canal. Ear candling can also lead to:

Deposits of candle wax in the ear canal
Burns to the face, hair, ear canal, eardrum and middle ear
Perforation of the eardrum or other ear injuries
If you develop an earwax blockage, avoid ear candling. Instead, consult your doctor about simple steps you can take to safely and effectively remove the wax. Mayo Clinic Source

FutureMemory's avatar

I was hoping Coloma would weigh in on this.

Coloma's avatar

I think a small firecracker would be more effective.

Jeez, is this some medievil practice that has had a surge of popularity? lol

I have no expereince with this and think I will not. haha

woodcutter's avatar

it may have a placebo effect with some folks. Personally I think there would more success using ear drops followed by rapid head shaking, or at least it works with our cats and dogs.

rooeytoo's avatar

Whenever I get a cold it always seems to settle in my ears. I can’t hear. So I have used the candles numerous times and it always seems to help. My hearing will improve immediately.
I try to use the old time cures unless I am desperate, I don’t like to take antibiotics unless absolutely necessary, actually I can’t remember the last time I did. There is enough antibiotics in the chicken, pork and beef we eat without adding more.

Also keep in mind, modern western medicine poo poos anything that does not make them money.

Paradox's avatar

@rooeytoo Hey you are not allowed to say that on here. I agree with you though on everything you’ve said though. I enjoy ear candling because it is very relaxing to me. I already know it doesn’t draw ear wax out but when the procedure is done properly it can be a godsend.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Paradox – I know, I was prepared to duck in case the barrage began, but I guess people are so tired of my line they don’t bother to comment anymore! :-)

truecomedian's avatar

The ear coning or ear candling I got it done today, think I said that already. It didnt do anything. It was lame, but I may not have done it right.

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