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Health tips The hype of ear candling

Ear candling also referred as ear coning and sometimes only as candling is an age-old therapeutic practice of removing excess wax build up in the ear canals.

This procedure of ear candling is a thermal-auricular therapy.

It has been in practice all around the world at various healthcare facilities.

Practitioners recommend this procedure to individuals suffering from hearing loss, tinnitus, vertigo, posture imbalance, persistent flu-like symptoms and numerous other conditions.

Our attempt to clear ear wax with Q-tips is often futile and wrong. While cleaning the ear wax one can accidentally push the wax deeper, causing a blockage.

How is ear candling done?

This procedure requires an ear candle and a plate.

The ear candle is a foot long hollow cone created from unbleached fabric.

The fabric used is usually linen which is soaked in either paraffin wax, beeswax or soy wax.

The person is instructed to lie on one side with the treated ear uppermost. The smaller end of the candle is inserted into the canal and lit.

The candle can be stuck through an aluminium coated paper plate. This will protect the person from any hot ash falling off the cone.

The candle can either be inserted at 90 degrees or 45 degrees depending on the practitioners’ preference.

The flame is cut occasionally every two inches and when the remainder of four inches remain, the candle is removed and blown out.

The same procedure is repeated with the other ear.

The procedure lasts for typically an hour or less and a crackling sound is heard as the candle burns off.


The end result is a brown wax-like deposit in the candle cloth.

Physicians have however seen complications from ear candling like candle wax occlusion, local burns, and tympanic membrane perforation. Ear candling hence should be strictly done under expert supervision.

Dr. Nisha Kumar

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