Jul 30, 2009

Danger Will Robinson, Danger - Ear Candling is a Farce :o)

Ohhh, Myyy Goddd, I cannot believe that I actually tried this once upon a time. If you have tried this, please do not be offended, I just found this curious and entertaining because although I am a natural skeptic, I actually allowed myself to be talked into trying this. LMAO at ME :o)

Ear candling is an old-time process that supposedly cleans out one's ear canal. It works this way: a hollow tapered candle about the diameter of a child's pencil is lit on the wide end. The narrow end is then lowered into the ear canal.

In theory, the updraft from the flame creates a partial vacuum within the candle, drawing all of the ear gunk from the ear canal into the candle's hollow center.

Over the course of 15 minutes or so, the victim hears snapping and popping, sounds that resemble the feasting of a hoard of locusts. When the candle is removed at the end of this time and cut open, it usually reveals a pocket of gummy stuff that has formed inside, stuff which looks remarkably like ear wax.

However, a study by the Spokane Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic confirmed what other researchers had found; the candling does not produce a pocket of low air pressure and is ineffective in sucking out ear wax. The gunk found inside is a combination of candle wax and soot.


  1. I believe the Chinese do something similar with a cone... or is that for earaches ? Happy Birthday ears?

  2. ROFLMAO...when Doug had his vertigo recently I ask him if I could stick a candle in his ear. (I didn't realize they were specialized candles until my mom told me later.) Needless to say he was not real receptive as I came towards him with a blue taper candle!!!

    I'm stunned to hear it doesn't actually work! ;)

  3. LMAO at Lisa's comment...a blue taper candle! Hahaha! Nope, never tried this, never gonna. Usually when you look into this kind of stuff, science proves it ineffective, as it did in this case.

  4. Another one of those old wives tales that survived for years. The only way to take care of this problem is to have the doc or nurse do it. I have a friend who has to go once a year for this & usually is given a Rx for a low dose anti-biotic because a small infection has developed behind the plug of wax. I never tried it but I could have. I tried piercing my own ears when I was in the 8th grade. I "numbed" my ear with a clothes pin (the kind with the spring) and used a sewing needle. I doubt it was sterile...it's a wonder I didn't get a good dose of tetanus.

  5. When my son was suffering with chronic ear infections I can't tell you how many MOM's swore by this and told me to do it. I never did. lol

    be well...

  6. LOL! I read about this a few years ago and I thought that it was a joke. However, people kept trying to convince me that it was a real practice. I just couldn't believe that anyone would want to stick a lit candle in any bodily orifice!

  7. I had a cold once and my ears felt clogged. The only time I had my ears cleaned was in a doctor's office and they used water and some sort of tool/device and "Viola" I got my hearing back!

    I never heard of the candle routine....quite interesting that you tried it once....LOL

  8. That was presented to me as a cure for deafness...I would laugh but that is just so very stupid. I have greatly diminished hearing in one ear(probably due to a childhood virus) and an actual M D once told me to "give it a try because some people have fantastic results." Really? It restores hearing? My ENT told me not only should I NOT do it, but that it could cause damage. ~Mary



    (that was advise from my Dr. when I put a q-tip in my ear and created a little damn of ear wax..and got the worst earache I ever had)

  10. Back in 2001 or 02, while I worked as an intake secretary for an in-home nursing service the RNs at the service picked up one of these candles to try. Paul had already told me that this process would not work because a vaccum could not be created in the way that this process claims. But, the RNs tried it anyway and it does give a good show... but the risk to burnin your hair is really high (especially here in the south where hairsprays are a given). :)

  11. I tried it but then I'm the type who will try almost anything once. lol

  12. Hi Ken,
    I've heard of this and it just sounded too scary to try ...


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