Taking Charge of Your Health

Described by medical professionals as bogus,
“a solution in search of a problem,” and “a triumph of ignorance over science,”
the method of removing earwax that employs heated beeswax, known as ear candling, is
a staple treatment for many when their ears get clogged up. But does ear candling actually work? Adherents of the practice claim that ear candling
was a part of traditional medicine from across the ancient world, including supposedly used
by the Egyptians, Chinese, and Native Americans, with one manufacturer of the wax tubes, Biosun,
going so far as to refer to their product as “Hopi Ear Candles,” despite that the
Hopi Tribal Council has come out and stated “[ear candling] is not and has never been
a practice conducted by the Hopi tribe or the Hopi people.” Whatever its true origins, for those unfamiliar,
the process of ear candling is relatively straightforward. First a sheet of cotton is coated with beeswax
(and sometimes a bit of honey and/or other herbs as well). Sturdy enough to roll into a narrow cone shape,
the narrow end of the cotton cone is set in the patient’s ear, and then the other end
is set on fire. As it burns, adherents often claim that the
flame creates a heated vacuum that pulls earwax from the ear into the tube. Others go further and note that the negative
pressure produced by the flame via the cone also draws out “toxins” from the bloodstream. After about 15 minutes, the flame is doused
and the cone removed. To view the result, a stick is shoved through
the cone, which pushes out ash and a fair amount of melted wax that is darker than the
original beeswax, and generally claimed to be a mixture of ear wax, beeswax, and ash
from the cotton. So does ear candling actually work? To begin with, Dr. Lisa M.L. Dryer notes that ear candles don’t actually
create any real suction and that, “Since wax is sticky, the negative pressure needed
to pull wax from the canal would have to be so powerful that it would rupture the eardrum.” Travis Berry, director of marketing and sales
at Wally’s Natural Products, a maker of ear candles, actually concurs with this assessment,
noting that the earwax removal does not happen while one is being treated with an ear candle,
but, he claims, after: “The smoke particles seem to bond with ear wax particles, and allow
them to fall out as flakes. They fall out naturally while you’re sleeping,
showering, driving to work. Your body does this anyway. Ear candles merely aid the body in removing
excess ear wax.” So what does the hard data from research say
about ear candling? Studies to date have definitively shown that,
apart from the more obvious outlandish claims of this method purifying blood being categorically
false, ear candles don’t remove any earwax from the ear save perhaps surface wax that
may get stuck to the tube. For example, in one such study, researchers
first performed the technique correctly then separately burned the candles without placing
them in an ear. The result? The composition of the clump of melted wax
was identical and no change in the state of wax within the ears in question was observed,
with the researchers concluding, “The wax… from an ear cone is not from the ear . . . but
rather is a product of the candle itself.” In a 2007 paper, Cerumen Impaction, published
in the American Family Physician, Dr. Daniel F. McCarter et al. summed up the method’s
effectiveness based on their research stating, “ear candles neither created suction nor
removed wax and actually led to occlusion with candle wax in persons who previously
had clean ear canals. Primary care physicians may see complications
from ear candling including candle wax occlusion, local burns, and tympanic membrane perforation.” In another 2007 paper, Ear Candling: Should
General Practitioners Recommend It?, published in the Canadian Family Physician medical journal,
the researchers concluded: Ear candling appears to be popular and is
heavily advertised with claims that could seem scientific to lay people. However, its claimed mechanism of action has
not been verified, no positive clinical effect has been reliably recorded, and it is associated
with considerable risk. No evidence suggests that ear candling is
an effective treatment for any condition. On this basis, we believe it can do more harm
than good and we recommend that GPs discourage its use. As these researchers noted, more than just
ineffective, ear candling can be dangerous due to the flame burning so closely to the
patient and the heat of the dripping wax. As a result, facial burns and other injuries,
particularly from burning wax inside the ear canal, are occasionally noted, though as far
as we could find no widespread study has definitively reported what the injury rates are for ear
candling. But as an example of the type of injury sometimes
incurred, in the aforementioned 2007 study, it was noted that in one case the practitioner
accidentally allowed a significant amount of hot wax to enter the ear canal of the individual
she was performing the method on. Seeking medical attention, the patient ultimately
had to be put under general anesthesia to remove the wax that had flowed deeply into
her ear. Beyond burns, a perforation of the woman’s
ear drum was discovered once the wax was removed. Subsequent tests revealed that she had hearing
loss in that ear; at her one-month follow-up, her hearing had not improved. So how should a person with an ear clogged
with earwax remove it safely? First – don’t use Q-Tips! Physicians (and even the makers of said product)
have advised- and been completely ignored- for decades that Q-Tips, like other long,
thin objects, can easily puncture an eardrum. Beyond this, regular use of Q-Tips, while
doing a decent job of cleaning the surface of the ear canal, has a tendency to result
in a buildup of wax deep in the ear from the Q-Tips pushing some of the wax further in. Instead, for cleaning the outer surface of
the ear canal, soft tissue paper rapped around the finger can suffice. As for cleaning out a build up of earwax deep
in the ear canal, assuming one doesn’t have a perforated ear drum and your shower pressure
isn’t too strong, lightly rinsing your ear with near body temperature water (too cold
or hot can cause dizziness) for as long as necessary is a relatively effective method
of ear wax removal. Alternatively an even better water method
is the somewhat overpriced, though still a lot cheaper than a doctor’s office visit,
Elephant Ear water bottle sprayer that many doctor’s offices use for cleaning ears. The general method here is to fill the spray
bottle with warm water, tilt your head slightly, partially insert the tip into the ear canal,
and begin vigorously spraying at various angles until the built-up ear wax is flushed out. For extreme blockages, it may take several
minutes of spraying to completely remove the ear wax, but this will eventually get the
job done. To speed the process up, over-the-counter
ear wax softeners may help soften the wax up before spraying, though these aren’t
strictly necessary. Just plain warm water will do the trick eventually. All this said, for most people the majority
of the time manually removing ear wax from the ear canal is not necessary and can even
be harmful if done too often as earwax serves a few useful purposes, such as working as
a lubricant and helping to stop your ears from becoming too dry and itchy. Its stickiness also helps trap dirt and other
such foreign invaders to your ears. In the end, most of the time for most people
ear wax is naturally pushed out on its own, with mere surface level cleaning in a bath
or shower being sufficient to tidy up the ear. Of course, ultra-dry climates, ears that produces
excessive wax or are oddly shaped internally or other such abnormalities may make it so
the occasional buildup occurs, resulting in diminished hearing or even full blockage of
the canal. For those times, rather than reaching for
the Q-Tips, which long term will exacerbate the problem, or attempting the useless ear
candling method, (assuming you don’t have a perforated ear drum) try something that
actually works like the Elephant Ear sprayer, your shower head (with pressure turned down
to a comfortable level), or simply head to the doctor’s office and they can clean your ear
out in short order.

100 thoughts on “Does Ear Candle Earwax Removal Actually Work

  1. Excellent and very video, but I was told when young and again last year, now 2017, by professionals working as street workers to not use Q-tips and they also responded to a question I posed. It`s about using hydrogen peroxide; using an eye or ear dropper filled with HP to get some into the ear canal when it has too much wax in it. When young, this was a recommended method, though I only learned of it back then through word of mouth and not directly from a doctor. The street workers who have received first aid training also emphasized to NOT use rubbing/medical alcohol. But, if just taking a shower with luke warm water and getting some into the ear works, then I`d first give this a try.

  2. Great video, but I'm keeping my Q tips. I would literally go insane without them. That was is so itchy and uncomfortably. Anyway, thanks for educating the masses.

    Have you done one on the poverty, stupidity tax (lottery)?

  3. I always laugh when I hear people say that anything removes toxins from the body- cleanses, ear candling, etc. Your body is perfectly designed to do that with your liver and kidneys.

  4. Was confused when he suggested methods cheaper then a doctors appointment, then I remembered that not everyone has universal healthcare, god bless the NHS!

  5. over the counter earwax softeners are just hydrogen peroxide solution, weaker than the stuff in the brown bottles though

  6. I went right to the comments section before watching the video.
    NO! Ear candles do not do anyting the wax that collects is from the wax-covered cone as it burns. They are supposed to draw or suck the wax out of your ear by the force produced by the flame. Email suction produced by an ordinary flame of that size isn't even enough to move a dandelion seed let alone suck viscous sticky wax from the inside of your ear.
    There are a total fake and a waste of your money.
    No one to watch the video for what I already know.

  7. How Do people have such difficulties with earwax? Just shower and use the Qtip to softly clean the inside the ear by spinning it in circles around the tip of the entrance to your ear. You don't have to jam the Qtip into your ear just spin it around a little and that's it.

  8. You can use a rubber syringe to spray water into your ear if you happen to have one already. Furthermore, the active ingerdient of ear wax softener is hydrogen peroxide, and any regular bottle of the sruff will be cheaper and work just as well.

  9. thank you for this TRUTH video-

    by the way DINOSAURS are still alive – THEY'RE living here- and disguised AS OTHER youtuber's in EVERY fake POSTERS quackery videos – ITS THE "TRUTH" that got extinct 65 million years ago when it got hit with a meteor.


  10. I just made a video on my channel, where I use an otoscope to see how much wax is actually removed via ear candling…check it out!!

  11. A lot of people don't use q tips to clean their ears. They use them to dry their ears after cleaning them in the shower.

  12. I get heavy earwax buildup and my go-to for this is debrox, which softens the wax, and then I'll use the squeegee thing to spray a mix of warm water and hydrogen peroxide into my ear. That usually does the trick.
    (My doctor would take a big syringe filled with water and peroxide and squirt that in my ears, so now I save time and money doing it myself)

  13. IDK but white people love paying for weird shit. I had it done and cut open and was impressed, but this video makes a lot of sense.

  14. People need to stop saying that this is bullshit. It does work and it's probably better than using a q-tip (q-tips push earwax further into your ear canal.) If you tried it and it didn't work then you probably didn't put it deep enough in your ear or you didn't trim off the top as it was burning

  15. Quick answer: NO. The gunk produced which comes out is just melted candle. Anything which purports to draw out vague ‘toxins’ is bullshit, unless someone’s just describing how your liver and kidneys do their basic job.
    The only real result of ear candling is wasted time & money, with the occasional incident of your hair getting set on fire, or your ears getting burned. It’s stupid. Don’t do it.

  16. I had a really nasty ear infection a few years ago and had to have my ears irrigated. I couldn't believe so much gunk was in there.

  17. C'mon, everyone knows this process draws out both cancer and demons. You just forgot to mention that, right?

  18. Most people dont have excess ear wax, especially not enough to impair hearing. Some do require wax removal by a doctor but it's actually not that common.

  19. Surprised there was no mention of those ear cleaning sticks with a tiny scoop at the end to dig out the wax (with care). It seems to be an asian thing in my experience.

  20. Medical professionals are drug pushers and dont know anything about natural remedies. They want to sell you something for some big bucks. But if you use it PROPERLY for the RIGHT REASONS, it is very effective. And it is for removing hardened balls of wax buildup which are blocking your hearing, not for little amounts of wax that can be removed by a hot shower with water running in and out of your ears. Damn, people don't have any COMMON SENSE these days. It's discouraging how stupid people are.

  21. I have used ear candles, but never to remove wax. They don’t remove wax. That said, what do they do? They provide topical pain relief and whatever antiseptic effects a minor amount of smoke can provide. Used mainly for ear infections, sometimes in conjunction with antibiotics.

  22. Simon! You pronounce the tribe “Hope-ie”. I have had my ears candle waxed. I think it’s the soothing feeling when the person massages your sinuses. I definitely would do it again. Real or Not.

  23. For more corporeal facts check out this video and find out How Long a Person’s Heart Has To Be Stopped Before Medics Wouldn’t Try to Revive Them:

  24. Just as bad as them foot a th detox things they say the water changes colour because it removes toxins but the same thing happens to the water without feet in it plus your liver and kidneys remove most your toxins

  25. i dont care what you say, i will always use q tips to clean the outer and inner parts of my ear…i like wetting them first too…feels so good

  26. Not just water. Soap and warm water. Just a tiny bit of dish soap is an effective ear wax softener. This comes straight from Dr.'s, who do precisely that, in their offices to remove blockages for patients. I've done it on my wife quite a few times and it works great. Done it on myself and it worked. Dr. did it on my Grandma and it works. Ear Candling however, is not only hokey nonsense, but it is quite risky and it is actually illegal in some places. Not that they can enforce it, cause people will do it through word of mouth anyway.

    You cannot or "should not", advertise such a service in some places or you are liable to have a run in with the law. This is true in Canada, where advertising it, is very unwise and has got people in trouble before. It's just too damned risky and ineffective and completely time consuming to do such a nonsense practice. Especially when 5 min. with some warm water and soap and an ear syringe (available at most drug stores) can do a very effective job, quickly and safely! Clearly, ear candling is a complete waste of time and money and risky af.

  27. I have seen several of these videos, and most are BS. One from a so called ENT which he demonstrated using the candle, and of course he put it in the ear upside down…which defeats the process and says see, it does't work. I have used ear candles for ears and they do work great. You just have to know how to use them. You put the small end of the candle in your ear, light the other end, make sure the small end is snug but not too tight. The candle will slowly burn, the heat is only slightly warm…it wont burn you. It is enough to melt the ear wax and the heat air draws in a circular motion upward, pulling the wax and other crap out of your ear. Don't let it burn all the way down, of course…use some common sense. Dr's dont want you to do shit on your own, because it takes money away from them…that's why they put up fake videos and call it quakery. BS. It does work.

  28. i can't get water in my ears, so i constantly suffer, sometimes it feels like my ear is full of wet slimey wax but when i clean it with a Q-tip the other ear is dirtier than the one that felt it.

  29. Did this once, it was relaxing :3. Also use distilled water to clean your ears, regular water may have unwanted visitors if you have ever seen monsters inside me.

  30. I accept that it doesn't work and may well be dangerous, but I didn't know that when I used them. I know that I only used them when I had actual pain in my ears from middle ear pressure. I used them because they seemed like the closest thing to the old folk remedy of blowing pipe smoke into the ears of a child believed to have an ear infection. I can't speak to the reasons, but I know that I would go from in pain and unable to sleep to sleeping deeply during a candling to the point that it was difficult to wake up enough to roll over so we could do the other ear.

  31. <iframe width="854" height="480" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  32. Never heard of this, but it’s clearly a bunch of bullshit. The appeal to antiquity is the first red flag. Didn’t need to watch more than half of this. People: Use a goddamned q-tip to swab your ear canals.

  33. Did anyone ever use this method; You get a plastic bag, put a damp paper towel inside, then wrap the bag in a towel, and warm in the microwave for a minute or half then rest your ear on it until the wax melts?

  34. Best way is to find a large cc syringe and keep it in the shower. You can fill it up with warm water and easily flush out your ears regularly.

  35. The moral of this video is don't let them put candles in your ear. The corollary is "don't let them give you a coffee enema either!"

  36. Tl;dw no, the physics of it is not valid. As sold its not possible for the candle to create a functional vacuum or suction. Want to prove it?
    Take an ear candle and stick the end that goes in your ear into a cup of water. Light it. It will no suck any water up into the candle any higher than the level of water in the cup. This is because almost all convection created by the candle takes place in a very small region by the flame OUTSIDE the candle, ie it only moves atmospheric air not any air inside the candle.
    Now the flame can cause the air inside the candle near the lit tip to be heated, which will cause it to rise, a small amount, but be stopped by the candle itself. It will also expand, in an open system this would cause suction because the rising air would create low pressure behind it but since it cant go anywhere, it cant do this.

  37. First of all to the commenters talking about ear wax and socialized medicine ear wax is an important bodily item that should be removed by a doctor if it becomes excessive, second q tips should not be used for ear wax as it says against on the package, and with regards to socialized medicine, I and other supporters of it would be willing to pay more in taxes if all people that required medical can access medical care without financial hardship

  38. I use hydrogen peroxide to clean out excessive ear wax. Plus the bubbling is sightly satisfying effect with the ear drum.

  39. The hot smoke from the ear candle helps clear impurities from your ears and nose. That's why it is good for those who are suffering from allergicrhinitis and sinusitis. Me and my daughter both had allergicrhinitis that we often had it almost everyday but after the earcandle we no longer have it. earcandle did not remove the wax from our ear coz earwax is also important to our ear. It is advisable to just remove dirt from our ear by using clothes in the surrounding area of our ears. Do not use earbuds coz it will push the earwax down inside the ears. Wax can help to safeguard our ears from the insect entering your ears.

  40. Shower head didn’t work. Ent charged 250 to vacuum out my ear. It hurt so freaking bad. Now my left ear sounds muffled in comparison to my squeaky clean right ear and it’s driving me crazy…

  41. I often have very clogged ears because I sniff instead of blowing my nose (Hate the feeling… also a waste of paper and all that stuff, but that's not the reason I don't do it.) Just blast in my ear with the shower whenever I'm in the shower, problem solved.
    I tried one of those candle things once; it was uncomfortable, itchy and stunk the house out. A good reason not to make candles out of earwax.

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