Contrary to its bad reputation, earwax (or cerumen), is actually very beneficial to your ears. It acts as a natural cleanser, removing debris as it moves out of the ear. It also contains both antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, when your ears produce too much cerumen, your ear canal can become clogged, which can result in earaches, infections and even hearing loss.
If your ears become plugged, going to a physician or audiologist is far safer than attempting to treat it on your own.
Using cotton tipped applicators can result in further impaction or even a ruptured ear drum.
“Ear candling” is incredibly dangerous. Ear “candles” are cone-shaped fabric tubes, dipped in beeswax, paraffin (or a combination of the two), that are placed in the outer ear and lit on fire, in attempt to warm and draw out impacted wax. Marketers also claim that ear candles can reduce sinus infections, help with sore throats and colds, and even cure certain types of cancer. The FDA warns consumers against candling for any reason.
Some of the potential dangers include:
- Starting a fire
- Burning your face or ear with hot wax
- Candle wax dripping into the ear, worsening the problem
- Puncturing your ear drum
If you’re experiencing problems with cerumen, schedule an appointment with a hearing professional who can safely remove impacted earwax and make sure there isn’t an underlying condition causing your problems. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.